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Indiana DNR officials reminding of potential hazards that come with illegal dumping

MISHAWAKA, Ind. -

Update: Following our 11 p.m. newscast on Tuesday, the DNR says the man in the video saw the story and immediately contacted them. The DNR says they found the substance that was dumped in the river has no adverse effects on the environment. 

Our cameras captured illegal dumping into the St. Joseph River on Tuesday, now the Department of Natural Resources wants to make sure people are aware of the potential hazards.

While water is one of our most important resources, Officer Jonathan Boyd from the DNR says taking care of local waterways is often overlooked.

Getting rid of any waste, trash, and chemicals by throwing them into waterways is against the law and can have drastic effects on the community.

“It only takes one person to dump just one little thing to have drastic, long lasting effects on everybody. Something from as little as a fish from your aquarium all the way to toxic materials it can really affect our environment and our ecosystem,” said Officer Boyd.

Not only is the St. Joseph River the source of drinking water for much of Michiana, it also flows into the Great Lakes.

“If our river becomes contaminated to a point that it also contaminates our Great Lakes, that’s up to a third of our world’s fresh water,” said Officer Boyd.

Legal consequences vary from fines of a few hundred dollars to felony charges with jail time.

The DNR says they are working to follow up with the person in the video. Any tips about illegal dumping should be passed along through their tip line at 1-800-TIP-IDNR.

To learn how to dispose of waste safely, click here.

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