The Bureau of Land Management has been told to close illegal landfills in the five-county area of southwest Utah.

BLM Cedar City District Manager Gordon Staker told the Five County Association of Governments Steering Committee that an inspection of the district was conducted a month ago by the inspector general of the Interior Department.Staker quoted Inspector General Michael Sedbrook as saying the situation in southern Utah "borders on the boundary of criminal negligence."

Staker said the BLM is concerned about cleaning up illegal dump sites at Newcastle, Tropic, Modena, Gunlock, Silvermine, Big Water, Church Wells and Hatch.

Authorized landfills under the Recreation and Public Purposes Act include Minersville, Kanarraville, Washington County, Antimony, Boulder, Kanab, Panguitch and Pine Creek.

The federal agency may require some sites to be covered up and new landfills located elsewhere on private lands or on land sold by the BLM.