The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is warning persons to desist from dumping waste irresponsibly as this can lead to imprisonment or a fine of up to $100,000.In an interview with this publication on Tuesday, Environmental Officer Candacie Thompson zeroed in on mechanics and explained that complaints have been received in the past of these persons dumping waste oil in dangerous ways. She reminded that mechanic shops are required to be authorised by the EPA as she appealed to these shop owners to desist from dumping hazardous waste in ways which could cause damage to the soil and even pose danger to human and possibly marine health.Waste oil dumped carelessly outside a mechanic shop on the East Bank of DemeraraAnother officer, Jasmine Adams, told this publication that persons can be fined up to $100,000 for breaking these laws. She explained, “We have regulations which are basically laws that have to be followed as it relates to waste management and their penalties for disobedience of those laws so littering of a public place there is a fine of $50,000 per person and $100,000 for a business”.It was noted that the EPA usually issues a citation order for clean-up or litter removals to be conducted. If the defendant defies this order, he/she is then taken before the courts.The clean-up order is different from the litter removal order in that two days and 14 days are granted respectively. These orders are issued based on the severity of the situation at hand. But irrespective of these timelines, an officer from the agency will visit the reported location to conduct checks to see whether the order was respected or not.“If you do not then you violate the citation order which is a legal document and it immediately becomes a court situation,” Adams noted.This process, according to her, requires witnesses and evidence, meaning that citizens will not be charged if caught in the act.Instead, a complaint would have to be filed after which an officer will visit the location to investigate. This would see persons in the area being interviewed and the delinquent would even be questioned for the agency to understand why the unlawful activity is being conducted and how often, among others.Subsequent to this investigation, a report would be submitted to the executives, who will determine the way forward.The officer pointed out, “Waste oil is considered a hazardous waste and you have the natural effects whereby you’d have rainfall and the oil would be washed into the drains and it would cause clogging, it would cause pest infestation because mosquitoes and stuff like that dwell where oil is. It does make for a very unsightly environment and it contaminates the waterways and so on”.Adams said that while such complaints are made frequently to the EPA, respondents are usually compliant as they fear being hauled before the courts. She, nevertheless, reported that the agency has seen repeat offenders before. In such cases, the fine is either doubled or tripled “depending on the level of disrespect”. Further, a person can be jailed for three to six months for such offences.