DOJ

December 3, 2018

Company pleads guilty to failing to properly supervise Clean Water Act discharge monitoring and reporting . . .

We are likely to see an increase in these types of criminal negligence prosecutions by DOJ/EPA, involving companies who fail to provide sufficient oversight over employees who collect, monitor and report environmental quality reports to the state regulatory agency or to EPA.   The company in the present case admitted to failing to meaningfully supervise the […]
November 23, 2018

Hyundai settles federal clean air criminal case for $1.9M

The recent sentencing of Hyundai Construction Equipment Americas for Clean Air Act crimes is the latest in EPA and DOJ’s efforts at cracking down on the mobile source market.  This represents another Obama era investigation, but indications are that the Trump administration will continue to make enforcement of violations in the mobile source sector a priority. *** […]
August 30, 2018

DOJ/EPA pursue criminal charges involving environment and worker safety . . .

The recent indictments out of Nebraska related to the deaths of two workers and mishandling of hazardous waste demonstrates EPA’s and DOJ’s continued focus on the intersection of environmental protection and worker safety.  With substantially larger criminal penalties for certain environmental violations than available in worker safety statutes, the DOJ, EPA and OSHA will look to apply […]
July 27, 2018

Feds criminally charge water company for hazardous waste violations . . .

The recent multi-defendant indictment against companies in the water and waste industries is one more sign that the environmental cop remains on the beat.  Keep an eye on staffing levels in EPA’s criminal program to see if this type of critical enforcement work can continue at the level needed to keep the playing field level and the public […]
May 17, 2018

South Carolina couple prosecuted for peddling counterfeit pet medicines . . .

Selling counterfeit flea and tick collars not only netted millions of dollars in illicit gain, but landed a couple on the wrong side of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and has led to long prison sentences.  Look for a continued focus by EPA and DOJ on pursuing cases where traditional fraud intersects […]
April 15, 2018

Feds file major action against NY town for drinking water violations, signaling shift in enforcement priorities.

In what is a clear shift in DOJ/EPA policy involving large enforcement cases under the nation’s Clean Water Act, the Trump Administration has turned its focus to the Safe Drinking Water Act and the risks to public health associated with health-based violations.  Historically, the federal government has focused largely on enforcing against cities discharging raw […]
April 3, 2018

EPA Tries New Informal Enforcement Approach

*** EPA’s chief of enforcement, Susan Bodine, has set her sights on a new approach to improve compliance, “informal enforcement”, bringing to bear Scott Pruitt’s priorities of cooperative federalism and “back to basics”.   The approach is being criticized by some as more roll-backs, others are hailing the measure as a better way to improve compliance, […]
March 24, 2018

DOJ Issues Environmental Enforcement Priorities

DOJ’s Environment and Natural Resources Division released its enforcement principles and priorities under Attorney General Sessions which align with much of Administrator Pruitt’s “Back to Basics” approach.  DOJ will continue to pursue civil and criminal prosecutions where the leading objective is to protect the public health and maintain the integrity of environmental programs. Cases in this category arise […]
December 12, 2017

Former Volkswagen Manager Receives 7 Years Jail Time in Diesel Emissions Cheating Scandal

Last week’s sentencing of former VW manager Oliver Schmidt to seven years in prison sends a clear message to those engaged in misconduct in the automotive sector: DOJ, EPA, and the Federal Judiciary are taking a hard line on criminal conduct.  Expect continued scrutiny in the emissions space across entire auto sector. Eric Lawrence of the Detroit […]
December 10, 2017

EEI and EHS2 Host Roundtable Discussion on Compliance and Enforcement in Trump Administration

This past week, the Edison Electric Institute and EHS2 welcomed Larry Starfield, Acting Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement, and Jeff Wood, Acting Assistant Attorney General for DOJ’s Environment and Natural Resources Division to discuss priorities for the environment in the Trump Administration.  Discussions focused on new themes and Administration priorities including: Back to […]