The Environmental Crimes Unit is a branch of Clay County Government and the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.
Two sworn law enforcement officers are funded by the county to investigate crimes involving violations of environmental laws.
Detective Gary Winterstein and Detective Robert Dews investigate all types of environmental crimes and violations of the Florida Administrative Code including the illegal dumping of solid waste, wetland violations, improper disposal of hazardous waste, improper discharge of industrial waste and general litter law violations. They also educate the public and local business owners about these laws and proper ways to dispose of materials and waste. They work directly with local county agencies, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Water Management District among others.
The members of the Environmental Crimes Unit can be reached by calling 904-278-3697.
The illegal disposal of waste along highways, at dead-end streets, in parks, along watersheds, creeks, and rivers is a dangerous and growing problem in North East Florida.
Illegally dumped trash often includes furniture, auto parts, appliances, lead acid batteries, household garbage, building materials, abandoned vehicles, used tires, waste drums, and chemicals such as paint, oil, and antifreeze. These materials can be dangerous to our health and safety. Hazardous chemicals can pollute surface and groundwater. Rotting garbage provides a breeding ground for disease-carrying rodents, and broken glass can injure children. Clay County spends thousands of dollars each year in clean-up costs associated with illegal dumping and arrested offenders can face fines up to $10,000 and jail time.
How you can help?
- Dispose of your litter properly and encourage others to do the same
- Secure your load with a cover/tarp Covered Load Brochure
- When using a contractor, ask them to bring you a receipt from the landfill
- Spread the word to friends and neighbors that illegal dumping is a crime
- Organize volunteer clean-ups of illegal dump sites
- Report illegal dumping by calling 904-278-3697