On Marco Island: Independent Reporting, Documenting Government Abuses, Exposing the Syndicate, Historical Records of Crimes Against the Environment

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Dial *DEP to Report Environmental Crime

Note: Concerned citizens of Marco Island may think the following is a joke given the ... joke that is the Florida DEP. So, what the heck, give it a try, it's a free call! Call them to report "major environmental crimes" - such as the pumping and dumping into the open and waterways of a known lethal toxin like hydrogen sulfide. And if that doesn't work (it won't), then maybe when the citizens revolt you can call them to report the "civil unrest" - see below in red!

TALLAHASSEE – Floridians now have a new tool for protecting the state’s natural resources. The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), in partnership with Cingular Wireless, today unveiled *DEP. Visitors and residents can now simply dial *DEP from Cingular cell phones to report major environmental crimes, which include illegal dumping of hazardous materials, construction debris, oil drums and biological waste.

“*DEP will assist officers in immediately responding to environmental emergencies,”
[where "responding" means conferring with and issuing permits to those that are committing the environmental emergencies - like emitting toxic levels of hydrogen sulfide into the air, streets, swails, lawns, waterways, etc...] said DEP Division of Law Enforcement Director Thomas S. Tramel. “Law enforcement will now have additional eyes on the roadways to help spot and easily report major crimes against the environment.”

The program will allow for statewide consistency in the way Floridians, particularly motorists with cell phone only access, report environmental crimes. Calls will be answered at the State Warning Point and information forwarded to DEP law enforcement officers for investigation.

"*DEP is another example of how wireless technology is improving the quality of life in our communities," said Dan Norman, Vice President and General Manager for Cingular Wireless: North Florida. “It seemed especially fitting to announce this program during Earth Month.”

*DEP is an emergency line for reporting environmental crimes only. Callers without wireless access can report environmental crimes to the State Warning Point by calling (800) 320-0519. General environmental inquiries should be directed to DEP district offices during business hours.

DEP’s Division of Law Enforcement is responsible for statewide environmental resource law enforcement, providing law enforcement services to Florida’s state parks and greenways and trails. Agents investigate environmental resource crimes and illegal dredge and fill activities and respond to natural disasters, civil unrest, hazardous material incidents and oil spills that can threaten the environment
[they respond when the incident CAN THREATEN the environment - they don't respond when the incident DOES THREATEN the environment].

From 1999-2003, DEP’s Division of Law Enforcement investigated 3,365 criminal environmental cases -- an increase of nearly 414 percent over the previous five years. In 2000, DEP launched the Environmental Crimes Strike Force to combat major crimes against the environment and public health [Except on Marco Island]. Its first operation, Operation Green Lightning, resulted in 156 arrests – the largest environmental law enforcement sweep in U.S. history.

Source: http://www.dep.state.fl.us/secretary/news/2005/04/0426_03.htm


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