Hardin County Beautiful/Clean Committee
of Sour Lake, Texas

In January 1995, Hardin County Beautiful Clean organized as a response to critical issues identification by the Texas Agricultural Extension Service and the Natural Resource Conservation Service. The goals of Hardin County Beautiful/Clean are to address these priority environmental issues, to replicate a successful community litter control program patterned after Angelina County and Keep Texas beautiful, and to facilitate the receiving of available grant funds.

The organization has experienced great success. In 1996 Deputy Franklin was hired as Hardin County's first LItter Law Enforcement Officer. During his first year 341 littering sites were investigated. 15,413 lbs. of trash were removed due to enforcement. The inmate work crews removed an additional 42,191 pounds!

Education is a priority component of successful waste management. As a resutl of funding by H.E.B. Grocery, the Texas Gneral Land Office, and Temple-Inland Forest Products Corporation to Kountze Middle School, money was made available for the design and duplication of LItter Law brochures. It is the purpose of this project to educate the public by sharing knowledge of the litterlaws.

Also see: Sour Lake a Proud Community

  • A person commits an offense if that person disposes of junk, garbage, rubbish, or other solid waste on a public or private property, or into indland or coastal waters of Texas.
  • A person commits an offense if the person allows or permits another person to dispose of junk, garbage, rubbish or other solid waste on his/her property.
  • Theseoffenses are a Class C misdemeanor unless the violator has been previously convicted, then the offense is a Class A misdemeanor.
  • Injurious Substance on Highway - A person commits an offense if that person throws or depostis on a highway a glass bottle, glass, a nail, a tack, wire, a can, or any other substance likely to injure a person, animal, or vehicle on the highway.

Liability of Operator of Boat or Motor Vehicle
  • A Class C misdemeanor is committed if a person operating a boat or motor vehicle throws litter from the vehicle into the state's inland or coastal waters or onto a public highway.
  • If the defendant has previously been convictedof an offense under this section, the offense is a Class A misdemeanor.

Illegal Dumping From a Vehicle
  • Illegal dumping means the disposal of trash, litter or any other material in violation of a law or ordinance of the state or any political subdivision of the states
  • If a motor vehicle is used in illegal dumping, an offense underthe law or city ordinance violated by the illegal dumping is punishable by a fine up to $2,000.

Tarp Law
  • "Loose material" means dirt, sand, gravel, wood chips,, or other material that is capable of blowing or spilling from a vehicle as a result of movement or exposure of air, wind currents, or weather.
  • The bed carrying the load must be completely enclosed on bother sides by sideboards or side panels, and on the rear by a tailgate, board or panel.
  • The top of the load must be covered with a canvas, tarpaulin, or other covering firmly secured to the front and back to prevent the escape of any part of the load because of blowing or spilling.
  • Any person caught violating this law is subject to a fine of up to $200. If it is the second or subsequent conviction a sum of $200 to $500 could be assessed.

Local Ordinances
  • Individual cities have additional ordinances which can be enforces. Thes ordinances may address litter, unsightly conditions, hazardous trees or shrubs, weeded lots, abandoned or junked vehicles, or delapidated structures.
  • Sign regulations may be enforced under local ordinances or the Texas Department of Transportation. Putting signs on utiltity poles or other public property is prohibited. Also, signs cannot be placed within the right-of-way of any public street or highway. This includes garage sales, political ads, advertisements, etc.

To Report information on illegal waste hauling or dumping call the Hardin County Sheriff's Office: 409-246-5100

The following details may be helpful when calling in a complaint:

  1. When the activity occurred, date and time?
  2. Where the incident occurred? Name of highway, road or closest intersection?
  3. How many people were in the vehicle? Race, sex, approximate age?
  4. What kind of vehicle did you see? Pick-up, dump truck,, flat bed, van, trailer?
  5. License number, make of vehicle. Ford, Chevy, Dodge.

Your support is much appreciated!

Help Keep Hardin County Beautiful/Clean

To Find Out More About the Hardin County Beautiful/Clean Committee of Sour Lake, contact the Sour Lake Chamber of Commerce


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