By Steve Large

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — There are new clean-up concerns along the American River Parkway now that the rainy season is here.

Advocates for the parkway are worried illegal camping is not only creating a toxic dumping ground in the water here but as rains come, there will be a toxic discharge downstream too.

Lisa Lindberg keeps a binder showing photos of the blight along the American River Parkway.

“And its a lot of toxic chemicals floating in here,” Lindberg said.

Lindberg lives a block from the illegal campsites on the river where human feces, needles, and propane tanks all sit below the high water line. All of it is in danger of washing downstream during the rainy season.

“We need to get an emergency clean-up going,” Lindberg said.
Lindberg’s concerns come three months after Sacramento county supervisors approved an additional $5 million a year for parkway clean-up.

Geologist Roland Brady testified with a dire warning.

“If they don’t clean up the debris before the rains come, it will be one of the largest hazardous waste discharges of the year and the county and the city will be involved in this,” Brady said in August.

Sacramento County Chief Ranger Mike Doane is in charge of illegal camping enforcement along the American River 0arkway and says rangers recently removed 12,000 pounds of debris in a single day.

“It’s not the pressure of the time constraints with the rainy season,” Doane said. “Ours is really 365 days that we try to keep the trash out of the parkway.”

Even with the constant clean-up, dangerous debris is still lying in the parkway.

“Nothing’s changed but the date on the calendar,” Lindberg said.

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