Man Charged with Environmental Crimes in Florham Park

File Photo

FLORHAM PARK — Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp, Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Acting Chief of Investigations Christoph Kimker, and Florham Park Chief of Police Joseph J. Orlando announce the arrest of Robert Luis Benitez, 46, Union, on charges stemming from the improper disposal of construction debris in an area off Route 24, in Florham Park.

It is alleged that Benitez, the owner of RLB Construction & Investments, improperly disposed of a variety of materials including exterior siding, paint cans, tile, boxes, flooring and other related materials.

The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Fire/Environmental Unit, along with the Florham Park Department of Public Works, coordinated and executed the cleanup, which resulted in over 10 cubic yards and two tons of waste.

The investigation revealed that the area is a Wetland Transition Zone within the Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act, as well as a Riparian Zone within the Flood Hazard Area Control Act.

Benitez is charged with one count of Unlawful Disposal or Transportation of Solid Waste, one count of Violation of the Freshwater Protection Act, and one count of Improper Discharge in Violation of the Flood Hazard Area Control Act; all crimes of the third degree. He was released pending a first appearance in court.

Prosecutor Knapp thanks the Florham Park Police Department, the Florham Park Department of Public Works, the Morris County Office of Health Management, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, the Union Township Police Department, and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Fire/Environmental Unit, all of whom participated in this investigation.

Editor’s Note: An arrest or the signing of a criminal complaint is merely an accusation.  Despite this accusation, the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until he or she has been proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.