Nanticoke, November 1, 2016 –  State Sen. John Yudichak (D-Luzerne/Carbon) and State Rep. Gerald Mullery (D-Luzerne) joined Newport Township officials and the Earth Conservancy today to announce new efforts aimed at stopping the illegal dumping and vandalism on Earth Conservancy lands and other key swaths of land in the Lower South Valley.

Through funding from the Earth Conservancy and a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development Keystone Communities Grant Program, Newport Township has purchased an ATV that will be used to actively patrol the problem areas and prosecute anyone caught dumping or damaging property. Additionally, the Newport Township Police Department has acquired a new police SUV with the help of a USDA grant. The vehicle will be an additional tool for the increased enforcement effort.

“I applaud Newport Township and the Earth Conservancy for their efforts to combat this problem,” said Yudichak. “With the addition of these vehicles and a community that is vigilant to this issue, I am confident that we will be better equipped to patrol these remote areas.”

“The ability to access remote areas of our township will provide a boost to law enforcement efforts as they work to keep the community safe,” said Newport Township Council President Paul Czapracki. “We also want to make sure that our neighboring communities in the Lower South Valley are well protected and these vehicles will assist with that.”

“Our officers need the proper tools to protect and serve our communities. Today, we’ve made their job a little easier and our neighborhoods safer,” said Mullery. “With much of its lands consisting of uninhabited and undeveloped areas, patrolling Newport Township can be a challenge. The acquisitions of the ATV and SUV will greatly assist our police department in preventing illegal dumping and providing all other emergency operations.”

“We’re glad we were able to team with Newport Township to take action on this issue,” said Mike Dziak, President and CEO of Earth Conservancy. “We know firsthand the damage that illegal dumping, trespassing, and vandalism do to these hard-to-reach sites.  An off-road vehicle was key to the Newport Township Police being able to access these areas.”

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