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Section 6: Enforcement

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Inspection

As each District is conducting periodic inspections of controlled highways, if any new junkyard has been commenced in an area which is neither in a zoned nor an unzoned industrial area or if any nonconforming junkyard has been expanded, a photograph of the offending activity should be taken and a notation made in the inspector's records. The records should be reviewed by District supervisory personnel and appropriate action taken to correct the violation.

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Injunction to Require Screening

If a junkyard is found to be in violation of Transportation Code, Chapter 391, Subchapter E, or any rule adopted thereunder, TxDOT will notify the owner of the junkyard by certified mail of the requirement of screening the junkyard.

If the owner does not screen the junkyard within 45 days of the date of notice, TxDOT may request an injunction against the owner from the Office of the Attorney General.

If an injunction is necessary, the owner will be responsible for paying all administrative, legal costs and expenses, courts costs and reasonable attorney's fees incurred by the State.

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Violations

If the District supervisory personnel determine that a violation of the Highway Beautification law has occurred, the owner of the junkyard business should be contacted in person or by telephone and informed of the improper activity. The offender should be given the opportunity to comply with the law by either removing the junk from the area within 1,000 feet of the edge of the ROW of the controlled highway or to screen the junk from view. The personal contact should be followed up by Illegal Junkyard Notice. If a favorable response is not received, Form ROW-OA-HBA3, Final Notice of Violation, Illegal Junkyard , should be sent by registered mail, return receipt requested. In the event the violation is not corrected within thirty days from the date of the Form ROW-OA-HBA3, the District should contact the County Attorney of the county in which the junkyard is located and determine whether the County Attorney is willing to accept and prosecute a complaint against the owner of the junkyard. If the County Attorney indicates that they will accept and prosecute such an action, the District should then write to the ROW Division over the signature of the District Engineer requesting authority to file a complaint against the owner of the junkyard and authority for employees of TxDOT to testify at the trial. A copy of all correspondence and file memoranda concerning contacts with the offending junkyard owner and the status of the junkyard should be sent to the ROW Division. The ROW Division will advise the District of approval to file the complaint and District personnel may then proceed to take the necessary action. The ROW Division will also advise the Office of the Attorney General that the filing of the complaint has been authorized in order that the Office of the Attorney General make take whatever action is deemed appropriate.

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Penalties for Violations

Any person who willfully violates any provision of Transportation Code, Chapter 391, or any TxDOT 's regulations thereunder, is subject to a fine of not less than $500 or more than $1,000. Each day of the proscribed conduct is a separate offense.

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