DEP promotes environmental crime awareness

Apr 19, 2012

Governor Rick Scott has proclaimed this week as Florida’s 11th Annual Environmental Crime Prevention Week. As Sascha Cordner reports, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is increasing awareness of how to stop environmental crimes.

Environmental crimes are violations of state or federal environmental laws that could impact public health and the environment, such as illegal dumping or improper disposal of oil. Patrick Gillespie with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection says there are tips that can help residents spot these crimes:

“If you see there’s a canal near your home that has kind of a strange stench, you see that there’s dead fish, that can be an indication that maybe something was dumped there. If you see [a] visible sheen of something on the ground or in the water, that’s kind of a tip that something is amiss.”

In 2011, the DEP’s Division of Law Enforcement investigated more than 800 criminal complaints, and responded to about 17oo emergency response incidents that involved the release of oil or hazardous material.