July 3, 2006
The Prosecution of Environmental Crimes
After seeing the movie "An Inconvenient Truth," a good question to ask is to what extent does the Department of Justice prosecute those who fail to abide by environmental laws in the United States.
To start, one might glance at the EPA's webpage titled summary of criminal prosecutions (here). But one finds an immediate problem - it says -
"The Summary of Criminal Prosecutions resulting from environmental investigations provides information to the public and regulated community on concluded criminal enforcement cases, by the U.S. Government's Fiscal Year (October to September). The Summary will be updated regularly, and currently contains cases through 2001."
Did we stop prosecuting cases after 2001? Unlikely, as one finds occasional press releases on a variety of prosecutions post 2001.(see, e.g., here)
So I went to the link for the Environmental Crimes Task Force and found this.
I then went to the Syracuse Trac and found some interesting reports including the prosecution numbers for Federal Pollution Enforcement here. The opening sentences are not a good sign for recent prosecutions in this area.
Addendum - Accomplishments of the Environmental & Natural Resources Division can be found here.
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