By Ashley Cox

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (CW44 News At 10)– Plant City man arrested after illegally dumping oil that caused thousands of dollars in damages to wetlands in Plant City.

Photo Credits: Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office

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Omar Hernandez, 33, was arrested by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office after an investigation took place with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

The DEP investigated the incident, which occurred over a period of time in April 2021 on the 4000 block of Cooper Road. Once DEP tested the substance they verified it was oil.

“We all must do our part to take care of our environment for ourselves and the generations to come,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister.

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According to reports the large dumping measured approximately 80 feet long and 12 feet wide. Due to the spill, fish, vegetation, and wildlife has al been affected in the immediate area.

The dumping of the oil is estimated more than $10,000 in damages. Based on the size of the dumping, the DEP requested emergency clean-up.

Oil Spill…Photo Credits: Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

Hernandez faces a felony charge of causing pollution that harms or injures human health or welfare.

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Used oil can be safely disposed of at most automotive maintenance facilities or auto parts stores. It should be placed in a plastic or metal container and tightly sealed.