BECQ says it will ‘strictly enforce’ anti-littering law

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(BECQ) — The Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality announce that it will provide additional enforcement of the CNMI Litter Control Law during the Covid-19 pandemic and will impose penalties on violators as provided under the law.

BECQ has observed an increasing amount of trash and debris on remote beach sites and beaches located on the east side of the island over the last several weeks.

“BECQ is pleading to the community to please clean up before and after utilizing a beach site. Trash in our ocean is a serious problem that threatens the marine environment and dependent livelihoods,” said BECQ Administrator Eli D. Cabrera.

Pursuant to the Litter Control Act, the following government agencies are mandated to enforce the Litter Control Law: Bureau of Environmental & Coastal Quality, Department of Lands & Natural Resources, Department of Public Health, Department of Public Works, Commonwealth Zoning Office, Department of Public Lands, and Department of Public Safety.

Anyone who commits the offense of littering will be fined with a penalty fee of not less than $25 and not more than $5,000 based on the Litter Control Penalty Fee Matrix. Penalties will be assessed based on the weight, type, and location the act of littering took place.

BECQ reminds the public that all public beaches and pathways are closed to all activities except for public use for purposes of exercise and wellness, both physical and mental, and shoreline subsistence fishing such as talåya, rod and reel, and commercial fishing activities, subject to the social distancing requirements stated in the CNMI Covid-19 Emergency Directives.

“For a sustainable environment, let’s work together for the health of our coral reefs and the cleanliness of our beaches for everyone to enjoy,” said Administrator Cabrera.

Please report any suspicious littering and illegal dumping activities by contacting BECQ at 664-8500 or the other apprehending government agencies.

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