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Environmental Crimes: Criminal Enforcement on the Increase

The Obama Administration is committed to increasing criminal enforcement of environmental laws. To that end, the EPA is bringing on fifty additional criminal investigators, bringing the total number of investigators to over two hundred. With these new resources, and a strategic plan focusing on the full range of environmental crimes, corporations and individuals should place a renewed focus on environmental compliance.

FY 2010 saw an increase in the number of individuals charged with environmental crimes, from seventy-four percent in FY 2009 to seventy-six percent in FY 2010. These enforcement results are consistent with the EPA/DOJ’s renewed emphasis on increasing the perceived deterrent effect of its prosecutions.

Although the number of corporate criminal charges decreased in 2010, the increase in the number of individuals charged, coupled with an increase in the penalties sought by the government, demonstrates the government’s stated goal of achieving maximum deterrence is real.

I participated in a webinar on this issue.  I have included a link to the slides on this issue HERE.

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