Blair County has 116 illegal dump sites with 167.5 tons of trash, a survey completed last fall by a statewide nonprofit organization shows.
More than half of Blair County's sites identified in the PA CleanWays - Keep America Beautiful survey contained tires, recyclable materials, bagged trash, household trash and construction/demolition waste. One-third of the sites were within 50 feet of water and in some cases, were in water.
The Blair County Department of Solid Waste and Recycling is hosting a press conference today off McMahon Road in Logan Township, where one of the illegal dump sites was found. Additional survey details and recommendations are to be announced.
Blair County Commissioners Terry Tomassetti and Diane Meling said Tuesday that they were aware of the survey and acknowledged that cleaning up illegal dump sites takes money and effort. Meling recalled that PA CleanWays once had a chapter in Blair County that organized volunteer cleanup efforts.
"The job actually falls to local municipalities," Meling said.
Tomassetti agreed and referred to ordinances and code enforcement as options to address illegal dump sites within a municipality's jurisdiction.
Of the 116 illegal dump sites, Woodbury Township had the most with 18. Other municipalities with double-digit sites included Logan Township, 16; Greenfield Township, 13; Frankstown Township, 12; and Antis Township, 10.
It's possible that Logan Township has reduced its number because crews did some cleanup in the spring, township Code Enforcement Officer Norman Bumbarger said.
It's also possible that Blair County and its municipalities have more than the 116 illegal dump sites reported in the survey. A summary of the organization's report noted that it restricted its survey to sites that were visible from public rights-of-way and that surveyors did not enter private property. The survey also excluded dump sites on farms.