In-Person Classes
Mt. Vernon on Sep 25; Substandard Structure Investigations; 6 CEU's; $195
Nacogdoches on Oct 18; Illegal Dumping Enforcement; 6 CEU's; $75 (Free to City of Nacogdoches staff)
Converse on Oct 26-27; BRWM Illegal Dumping Enforcement 2017; 12 CEU's; FREE
Wichita Falls on Oct 31st; Illegal Outdoor Burning; 6 CEU's; FREE
Amarillo (to be rescheduled); Illegal Dumping Enforcement; 6 CEU's; $75
Haskell (to be rescheduled in November); Illegal Dumping Enforcement; 6 CEU's; FREE
Online Classes Always Available - Click Here to Register for Any of These
TIDRC000 Orientation to Local Environmental Enforcement; 1 CEU; FREE
TIDRC001 Legal/Legislative Update for Code Officers; 1 CEU; $25
TIDRC002 Local Control of Oil and Gas Waste; 6 CEU's; $39
TIDRC003 Illegal Dumping Enforcement; 6 CEU's; $39
TIDRC004 Illegal Outdoor Burning; 6 CEU's; $39
TIDRC005 Environmental Crimes of Local Governments; IN DEVELOPMENT
TIDRC006 Ethics of Local Enforcement; 3 CEU's; $29
TIDRC007 Enforcing Public Health Nuisance Laws; 6 CEU's; $39
TIDRC008 Local Control of Scrap Tires; 6 CEU's; $39
Why not try a free online class?
Complete TIDRC000 Orientation to Environmental Enforcement and earn one DSHS-approved hour. This will give you a no-risk chance to evaluate the process. Click here to get started.
Continuing Student (Pre-Paid Fee) Program
Access all classes for $150 per year … or less!
Need several classes this year? You can register as a TIDRC Continuing Student and access all of our current and coming online classes for 365 days from date of your registration by paying the annual fee of $150 per year. If your city has several officers who need classes, discounts are available for groups. Click here for more information and registration.
Legal/Legislative Update for Code Officers Special
This is our most popular online class, and sometimes several officers from the same agency want to take it at the same time. The regular fee for this class is $25, but we drop that to $15 each when five or more officers register at the same time. Each person then works independently, completing the class on his or her own schedule (you have up to one year to finish this or any class following registration). I don't think you'll find a better deal than this. Contact John Ockels ockels@tidrc.com for more information.
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Online Classes Are Popular and Ready When You Are
Our online classes are growing in popularity. Since we've began offering them a total of 658 different students have completed a total of 1,554 classes and earned a total of 5,682 continuing education hours as of February 28, 2017.
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Now Available

2016 Edition, Illegal Dumping Enforcement; Officer's Guide

This is the newest edition of the popular enforcement guide we have been publishing for ten years.
405 pages … $30 per copy, delivered

2016 Print Edition: Temporarily Out of Stock

2018 Edition in preparation; Available late-September 2017.
Laws and Other Resources
Looking for copies of the most frequently used anti-pollution laws or need other resources to become better informed or to do a better job? Here we post copies of relevant laws and rules, discussion papers on various topics, presentations, and our popular field guides for officers and officials. Feel free to download and use this material to fight local pollution with local resources.
Frequently used environmental laws
Additional useful resources
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Oil and Gas Waste Problems
Just about all kinds of illegal dumping can be controlled by local governments, including sloppy oil and gas waste hauling as shown here in Jim Wells County. Local governments in the oil patch can exercise criminal enforcement powers to keep their communities clean (shown here: multiple criminal violations of Texas Water Code Chapter 29, handled at the county level). Classes on this and other kinds of dumping provide continuing education credits to code enforcement officers and registered sanitarians (approved by the Department of State Health Services) and peace officers (TCOLE). Click here for information on our new online class Local Control of Oil and Gas Waste
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Contact Us
Please feel free to contact me personally if you have any questions on illegal dumping or other forms of pollution, to discuss the political issues that surround local empowerment, to send us pictures of dumping, or just to have a private conversation about a situation. The people working on these issues around our state are absolutely amazing, and we love to hear from you. So tell us about your successes and challenges, and maybe we can help. My email address is ockels@tidrc.com

Local Enforcement

Most illegal dumping, water pollution, illegal outdoor burning, and public health nuisances can be effectively controlled by cities and counties using these approaches.

1. Municipal Code Enforcement (Applies only inside most cities)

Fine to $500 / $4,000; Enforced By: Municipal code enforcement officers

2. Public Health Nuisance Violations (Applies everywhere in Texas)
THSC Chap. 341. Minimum Standards of Sanitation and Health Protection Measures
Fine of $10 to $200; Subsequent conviction within one year of first: $10 to $1,000 and/or 30 days jail; Enforced By: Peace officers; Local Health Department; County employee trained by health authority (see THSC Chapter 121); Especially see THSC Sec. 341.013(c) for a violation covering many situations; penalties at Sec. 341.091 (criminal) and Sec. 341.092 (civil)

3. Public Nuisance in Unincorporated Areas (Not including “agricultural” land)
THSC Chap. 343. Abatement of Public Nuisances; Fine of $50 to $200; Subsequent conviction at any future date: $200 to $1,000 and/or 6 months jail; Enforced By: Peace officers; Local Health Department; County employee trained by health authority (see THSC Chapter 121)

4. Illegal Dumping onto Land and into Water (Applies everywhere in Texas)
THSC Chap. 365. Litter; Enforced By: Peace officers; Sets a penalty of Class C, B, or A Misdemeanor or State Jail Felony based on weight or volume dumped; disposal of waste on one's own property generally not allowed

5. Water Pollution (Applies everywhere in Texas)
Enforced By: Peace officers
TWC Sec. 7.145. Intentional or Knowing Unauthorized Discharge (Felony)
For individual: $1,000 to $100,000 and/or Prison to 5 years; Other than individual: $1,000 to $250,000; Subsequent conviction at any time: doubling of possible maximum penalties;
TWC Sec. 7.147. Unauthorized Discharge (Misdemeanor)
For individual: $1,000 to $50,000 and/or Jail to 1 year; Other than individual: $1,000 to $100,000; Subsequent conviction at any time: doubling of possible maximum penalties

6. Oil and Gas Waste (Applies everywhere in Texas)
Enforced By: Peace officers
TWC Chap. 29. Oil and Gas Waste Haulers
$100 to $1,000 fine and/or up to 10 days in jail; Subsequent convictions are not spoken to in the statute;
TNRC Sec. 91.002 Provisions Generally Applicable
Fine to $10,000 in county where violation occurs for most violations of 16 TAC Sec. 3.8 Water Protection rule

7. Illegal Outdoor Burning (Applies everywhere in Texas)
Enforced By: Peace officers
TWC Sec. 7.182. Reckless Emission of Air Contaminant and Endangerment (Felony)
$1,000 to $250,000 and/or prison to 5 years; Subsequent convictions are not spoken to in the statute;

TWC Sec. 7.177. Violations of Clean Air Act (Misdemeanor)
Sec. 7.177(a)(5); $1,000 to $50,000 and/or jail to 6 months; Primarily used to respond to people violating the Texas Outdoor Burning Rule (30 TAC Sec. 111,
Subchapter B); TCEQ enforces administratively; local police enforce criminally; Note that there are some potential problems with the penalties, so you should discuss this with your county attorney before enforcing

8. Hazardous Waste Violations (Applies everywhere in Texas)
Initial penalties are major; Subsequent conviction at any time: generally a doubling of possible maximum penalties; All of these violations are enforced by: Peace officers; See TWC Sec. 7.162 and Sec. 7.163 for various violations and penalties

9. Additional Specified Major Environmental Misdemeanors and Felonies (Applies everywhere in Texas)
TWC Sec. 7.141 to TWC Sec. 7.185; covers various violations involving medical waste; used motor oil; lead acid batteries and other environmental violations;
All of these violations are enforced by: Peace officers; most carry mayor penalties

Disclaimer: Provision of this information does not constitute the practice of law. Local governments and other readers are encouraged to discuss the use of these provisions and approaches with their attorney and local prosecutors. If we can assist in this process, please contact us.