TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) says it charged Dry Cleaning Warehouse operator Luis Reyes with the improper storage and disposal of hazardous wastes in late April, each third-degree felonies punishable by up to five years in prison and a $50,000 fine.
DEP enforcement agents took soil and surface-water samples that showed high concentrations of drycleaning solvent. An estimated 1,000 gallons of hazardous waste was improperly stored and disposed of, leading to the high levels in soil and surface water, the DEP says. In addition, Reyes could not provide the necessary disposal records for the hazardous wastes generated at his facility.
“Enforcing Florida’s environmental laws is an important part of DEP’s mission,” said Henry Barnet, director of the DEP’s Division of Law Enforcement. “Ensuring that hazardous waste is properly stored and disposed helps protect our soil and groundwater resources from pollution and protect the public’s health.”
A DEP spokesperson added that the state’s routine regulatory practices usually avert criminal charges, but the Tampa-based business had shown continuous problems with compliance issues.