In just under three years, Logan County Sheriff’s Office Environmental Deputy Don Hudgins has collected over 100,000 pounds of trash off roads, ditches, dump sites, water and land in Logan County.
Beginning in late 2017, the sheriff’s office has received a grant from the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to investigate illegal dumping operations and cooperating with multiple agencies for the cleanup of those illegal dump sites. Related article: LCSO removes household furniture from water underneath popular bridge
Along with his environmental duties, the deputy provides firearms training and is a member of the Special Response Team (SRT).
Since the inception of the environmental program, Hudgins has worked nearly 300 dump sites and through the process has collected over 600 tires and 103,430 pounds of trash.
To date, no felony charges have been handed down for illegal dumping, but Hudgins believes with a recent change in waterway laws that could change. However, eight citations, eight warnings and 11 misdemeanor charges have been handed down.
In 2019, a man pleaded guilty to illegal dumping. Part of the plea agreement, the man was assigned to perform community service with Hudgins cleaning up litter and dump sites.
With his large military truck and trailer, Hudgins has assisted DEQ with their investigations. County commissioners have also been benefited with assistance of downed trees in roadways following weather events.
In December, Hudgins was named the Best of the Environmental Best at the Environmental Excellence Celebration, which represents the top award for the entire state. Related article: LCSO Deputy named Best of the Environmental Best
Anyone caught dumping illegally could face fines ranging from $200-$5000 in addition to jail time or community service. Hazardous materials dumped could result in felony charges being filed against offenders.