New bill could fine junkyards up to 50K a day for violations creating pollution

State representative Karen Whitsett and Mayor Mike Duggan held a press conference Friday to discuss a new bill introduced to combat junkyard lots and the adverse effects on the environment.

"These companies are burning cars, crushing cars dumping oil into our water wells and sewage systems," said Whitsett.

Whitsett says the bill is being introduced to hold businesses accountable.

According to Whitsett, the current fine for junkyards is only $2500, and she says that is not enough.

Authorities say the bill will increase fines to $25,000 and $50,000 per day when lots and junkyards are in violation.

Residents say they have been fighting for years to keep their community safe, saying they don't need this in their neighborhood.

Mayor Mike Duggan says he is in full support of the bill.

"More than two years ago, I issued an Executive Order where I put a moratorium that no more scrap yards, junk yards, used car lots would be permitted in the city," said Duggan.

Duggan says many of these junkyards have been shut down because of violations, and others have been compliant.

The number of inspectors will be doubled this year, according to Duggan. He says he believes this legislation will only make things better.