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Man arrested for illegally dumping oil into Plant City wetlands

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY – The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Plant City man after he allegedly illegally dumped oil, causing thousands of dollars in damages to wetlands in Plant City.

The sheriff’s office, with the help of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), investigated the incident, which happened over a period of time in April on the 4000 block of Cooper Road. DEP units tested the substance and confirmed it was oil.

Deputies say the large dumping measured approximately 80 feet long and 12 feet wide. Due to the spill, fish, vegetation, and wildlife had all been affected in the immediate area.

Following their investigation, deputies within HCSO’s Environmental Enforcement Unit identified and arrested 33-year-old Omar Hernandez.

According to HCSO, it is estimated that the dumping caused more than $10,000 in damages. Based on the size of the dumping, the DEP requested an emergency clean-up and contracted Hull’s Environmental Services in Tampa to rehabilitate the area.