Environmental Crimes: Prosecutions Beyond the Midnight Dumper


Discretionary decisions about the types of crimes to be prosecuted, and the vigor by

which they will be prosecuted, depend largely upon the scope of statutory authority vested in the

prosecuting agency and public validation expressed in the voting booth and jury box. With

regard to environmental regulations, the statutory authority is broad and public acceptance for

criminal enforcement of environmental regulations is gaining momentum. More than ever, the

public is inundated with news stories focusing on the detrimental impact human activity has had

on the environment. The conservation movement has trickled down so far as to focus now on the

activities of each citizen. All this is likely to mean greater criminal enforcement activity.

Corporate authorities from officers down to department supervisors should be alert to the

responsibilities and scope of accountability associated with regulatory activities occurring in the


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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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