Our unit consists of two full-time agents who have state-wide jurisdiction. We investigate most areas of environmental crime with our primary focus on felony-level crimes. Examples include:
1. Unlawful disposal of solid waste
2. Unlawful disposal of hazardous waste
3. Unlawful discharge of pollutants into state waters
4. Submitting a fraudulent document to ODEQ
5. Fraudulent claims against the State
6. Conspiracy to defraud the State
A hot issue (pun intended) right now is the burning of copper wiring. This usually generates a regulated hazardous waste, as the insulation on the wiring usually contains lead. We have successfully prosecuted several copper thieves not for stealing, but for burning the copper wire.
Almost any knowing discharge of a pollutant into waters of the State (ANY drainage system or body of water to include ponds, rivers, streams, storm drains, and bar ditches), without a permit, is a felony violation. Permitted facilities include wastewater plants, factories, and refineries. Trucks are never permitted to discharge except to a treatment facility.
Our agency oversees the state Waste Tire Program which is designed to ensure the proper recycling of waste tires and to financially compensate permitted tire recyclers. We investigate cases of fraudulent claims against the Waste Tire Indemnity Fund, as well as cases of illegal dumping of waste tires.
We will do anything we can to help out other agencies with cases that touch on our jurisdictional areas. Oftentimes our investigatory authority helps develop probable cause for other non-environmental offenses.