Like usual someone asks a direct question that requires thinking & effort on the part of the responder and it falls on def ears and recieves mindless ridicule & myths in response.
I do agree that dumping grey water should be prohibited as all that bacteria and decomp goes in to the sand we walk on, lay on, kids play in, and then it dries and gets kicked up into dust and we breathe in to our lungs. As a side note; Brawley & the imperial valley has an extemely high rate of lung & breathing related diseaes & illneses all due to farming pesticides drying in the soil and being kicked up during plowing & high winds (you can look it up), same thing is happening at the dunes when you dump your tanks especily in the washes.
Back to the OP's question:
For a long time the El Centro office of the BLM had a ISDRA website and posted all of the rules that all visitors are responsible to know on the site since each area has it's own special rules set by the local BLM office. Sometime in 2015/2016 they took the site down posted the ISDRA rules on Facebook which i think is total F-in B.S. since the BLM places the burden of knowing all the rules on the visitor and they've made it nearly impossible for any visitor to even find the rules. I can only assume they did this in an underhanded effort to make it even harder for visitors to know and understand the rules so they can make more "contacts" & write more tickets. So last time I checked this was the ONLY place you could find the actual BLM rules:
If you actually read the rules some are pretty simple but others refer to either a United States code (U.S.C.) or a Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) and here is where they get you. They simply refer to the code which then you have to look up and interpret for yourself. Of course the codes are comprised of total politician double speak that says everything is illegal, gives every out in the book for them, and never actually defines anything thus leaving the law up to interpretation by law enforcer and the person whose responsibility to know and it is being forced upon…and this is where the BLM lives in the gray area. They make it dam near impossible to find the rules, then dam near impossible to find the legal statues they refer to, then all of the statutes are completely undefined, unclear, with multiple outs for them, and left for interpretation by field enforcement AND THIS IS JUST HOW THE BLM WANTS IT!!! So you can’t defend yourself and it is impossible to pin them down to anything!!! This way they can make contacts like crazy, write all kinds of bull $hit tickets, and harass people under the guise of making it safer for everyone enforcing undefined laws.
So under “Dumping” all they say is: Dumping of sewage is prohibited under (43 CFR 8365.1-1(b)).
Well here is what 43 C.F.R, section 8365.1-1 says:
43 CFR 8365.1-1 - Sanitation.
§ 8365.1-1 Sanitation.
(a) Whenever practicable, visitors shall pack their trash for disposal at home.
(b) On all public lands, no person shall, unless otherwise authorized:
(1) Dispose of any cans, bottles and other nonflammable trash and garbage except in designated places or receptacles;
(2) Dispose of flammable trash or garbage except by burning in authorized fires, or disposal in designated places or receptacles;
(3) Drain sewage or petroleum products or dump refuse or waste other than wash water from any trailer or other vehicle except in places or receptacles provided for that purpose;
(4) Dispose of any household, commercial or industrial refuse or waste brought as such from private or municipal property;
(5) Pollute or contaminate water supplies or water used for human consumption; or
(6) Use a refuse container or disposal facility for any purpose other than for which it is supplied.
As you can see there are plenty of outs for “authorized” breaches of the law.
In this case the OP is concerned with section B subsection (3), so the section references a few key words:
5) “wash water”, which they give an exemption for
So the big question is how are these terms defined by the enforcing agency and this is crux of the issue here.
I asked the BLM to define a few of these terms and what was thier position on dumping clean fresh water for months on end having to make repeated requests with various personal as they are ambiguous and obviously are making it difficult for users to abide by the laws. After months of repeated requests I finally received a response from their office stating that:
“The definition of sewage, as it applies to federal lands is set by the EPA, and can be found in section 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations and the Environmental Protection Act of 1991.”
“As to the remainder of your questions about what state or local laws apply within the ISDRA, all California and ImperialCounty laws regulating waste apply. These laws are numerous, and I would referred you to counsel at the California Attorney General’s Office, or the Imperial County District Attorney as places to direct any questions you would have about laws at those respective levels.”
So now there is ANOTHER 2 levels of Federal B.S. you have to wade through and “ALL of California” and “ALL of Imperial County” “laws regulating waste apply” to wade through also. Which you’ll notice it never states in the BLM’s ISRA rules & regulations anything about state or local laws imposed upon visitors to the ISDRA though it is federal land and it’s enforcement agents are only deputized by the county not the state unless there given authority by the state to enforce state laws too somehow?
Well here’s title 40:
As you can see the BLM never referenced any sections or subsections all in an effort to subvert the question and keep them in the grey. Most of title 40 is setting the precedence for the existence of the EPA and basis for it to enact & enforce law (which it has none since it is not an elected body such as congress).
To the OP if you have the financial ability, the stomach for it, and are serious about actually doing something please contact me privately.
To anyone else who holds a law degree and would care to take this up from this point that’d be great.
To everybody else who wants to wine & biotch let me know when you actually do something to help resolve the problem. Some help & unity in the duner community might actually get something’s changed or you can just keep fighting amongst yourselves like the idiot republicans in congress who get nothing done.