August 12, 2008

Help Protect Florida’s Environment By Dialing #DEP

Verizon Wireless customers across Florida can now help protect the Sunshine State's natural resources by dialing #DEP from their wireless phones when they witness environmental crimes. The calls will be automatically directed to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and law enforcement personnel for immediate response and/or further investigation.

Residents should call #DEP to report illegal dumping, burying or burning of prohibited materials, oil or chemical spills, and other hazardous situations that can threaten Florida's sensitive environment or put others at risk.

"Verizon Wireless is proud to work with DEP and offer this service for the benefit of our state's unique natural resources," said Pam Tope, Florida region president for Verizon Wireless. "Law enforcement officers cannot be everywhere, but with #DEP ordinary citizens can help them watch over the environment and respond more quickly to dangers, pollution, and other incidents."

According to DEP officials, authorities last year responded to more than 2,100 incident reports, conducted almost 350 criminal investigations, and made 133 arrests for environmental crimes in Florida.

Residents can also report environmental crimes by calling 877-272-8335 (877-2-SAVE-FL) from any landline phone. For tips on recognizing environmental crimes, residents can visit DEP's Web site at

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