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DEP Prevails In Suit Against Empire Core Supply

July 21, 2009

-Empire required to remediate site and pay $160,000 in penalties and costs-

dep-against-empire-core-supplySANFORD – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently filed suit and prevailed in its case against Empire Core Supply, LLC (Empire), as well as its individual owners and operators, resolving multiple violations that occurred at their facility in Seminole County beginning in 2002. The final judgment found the named defendants liable for environmental damages and requires them to conduct a site assessment, perform remediation, and pay a total of $160,000 in penalties and costs.

“The DEP takes its role in protecting the public’s health and safety seriously,” said DEP Division of Law Enforcement Director Henry Barnet. “Whether taking civil actions to be sure responsible parties remediate damages they have caused, or pursuing criminal prosecution of violators who refuse to comply with Florida’s environmental laws, we are committed to protecting our state for the enjoyment of generations to come.”

Both groundwater and soils were impacted by the releases of hazardous substances contained in automotive fluids, including but not limited to xylene, barium, lead, selenium, ethyl benzene, toluene, arsenic, and chromium. Empire Core Supply failed to prevent these pollutants from coming in contact with the ground, resulting in contaminated soil and groundwater. Used oil, used oil filter and waste tire violations were also noted on site and included in the final judgment. The company has 30 days from the date of the judgment to pay its penalties and costs and to commence the site assessment and remediation activities.

On February 12, 1985, Florida received final authorization from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to administer its own hazardous waste management and regulatory program under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). An important feature of that authorization is DEP’s ability to inspect and monitor activities subject to regulation and to take appropriate enforcement action against violators.

The Hazardous Waste Regulation Section is responsible for implementing the hazardous waste regulatory portion of RCRA. It reviews and issues permits and coordinates compliance monitoring and enforcement activities at hazardous waste generators, transporters and Treatment, Storage and Disposal (TSD) facilities with the regulatory district offices.

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.

To report an environmental crime, wireless customers can dial #DEP. Callers can also report environmental crimes to the State Warning Point by calling (877) 2-SAVE-FL (1.877.272.8335). General environmental inquiries should be directed to DEP district offices during business hours.

For more information about DEP, visit www.dep.state.fl.us.

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