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Crime Fight Unites Sheriff, EPA

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are teaming up to fight environmental crimes ranging from large-scale eco-terrorism to illegal dumping.

Under the partnership, similar to one in Los Angeles County, the sheriff and EPA will share resources and information to identify and protect critical infrastructure, including harbors, chemical plants and water supplies. The two agencies will also target illegal dumping of sewage and other waste.

The nature of each case will determine whether it is prosecuted as a state or federal crime, authorities said.

To keep costs at a minimum, Sheriff Michael S. Carona said Wednesday that his department is tapping 10 members from a pool of volunteer reserves to work with federal investigators.

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