News & Analysis as of

Environmental Crimes

Deputy Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Water Provides Environmental Policy Insights

by Williams Mullen on

Lee Forsgren was appointed Deputy Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Water in July 2017. We recently had the opportunity to hear him speak to a trade group where he discussed EPA’s priorities under the Trump...more

Criminal Enforcement: Federal Appellate Court Addresses Whether Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Violation was a...

The 9th Circuit United States Court of Appeals (“Court”) in a September 13th opinion considered whether “knowingly storing and disposing of hazardous waste without a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”) permit” is...more

The Ninth Circuit Reiterates That “Knowingly” Handling Hazardous Waste Without a Permit Is a General Intent Crime Under RCRA §...

by Clark Hill PLC on

Max Spatig was convicted of knowingly storing and disposing of hazardous waste without a permit and sentenced by the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho to 46 months in prison under 42 U.S.C. § 6928(d)(2)(A). See...more

New Fed Policy Eliminates Ability of Settlement Options to Include Payments to Non-Party NGOs

by Snell & Wilmer on

On June 7, 2017, United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memorandum to all Department of Justice (DOJ) components and 94 United States Attorney’s Offices prohibiting them from entering into any agreement on...more

VW Fallout Continues: Mobile Source Emissions Enforcement Likely to Continue Full Speed Ahead under Trump Administration

by Snell & Wilmer on

The headlines generated by the Volkswagen emissions scandal continue to amaze the environmental community and the general public, both here and abroad. The events are shocking in part because they involve a household name in...more

Environmental Enforcement Under Trump – Be Careful What You Wish For

by Snell & Wilmer on

Regardless of whether you are a Trump supporter or Trump hater, and there certainly seems to be very few people who are indifferent to the guy, trying to prognosticate what he will do is very difficult. He is a political...more

China focuses on Criminal Enforcement of Environmental Laws

by Latham & Watkins LLP on

The Supreme People’s Court (SPC), China’s highest judicial body, issued a judicial interpretation on December 26, 2016 which defines 18 types of environmental crimes as “serious environmental pollution” and identifies 13...more

Upping the Ante: DOJ Prosecuting OSHA Cases as Environmental Crimes

by K&L Gates LLP on

In December of 2015 the Department of Justice (“DOJ”)and the Department of Labor jointly announced an expansion of the “Worker Endangerment Initiative” to address violations of worker safety and environmental laws. In...more

Minerals Matters - Spring 2016

by DLA Piper on

Minerals Matters is DLA Piper's bi-annual publication which showcases the breadth and depth of our experience in the mining and minerals sector across our office network and in all practice areas. In this issue, we...more

Higher Fines Imposed for Environmental Offences

by Latham & Watkins LLP on

Powerday plc was issued a record fine in April this year for offences relating to operations involving over 17,000 tonnes of waste deposited and stored illegally. Powerday – one of the biggest waste-management companies in...more

Former head of OSHA discusses workplace injury policies, DOJ enforcement

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

At a recent presentation at the St. Louis office of Thompson Coburn, John Henshaw, the former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA, offered some insights into several top-of-mind environmental, health and safety issues....more

DOJ’s Increased Focus on Environmental Criminal Cases

by Perkins Coie on

Recently, John C. Cruden, DOJ’s Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Environmental and Natural Resources Division (ENRD), which oversees DOJ’s environmental litigation, voiced a heightened commitment to enforcing...more

Feds Renew Focus on Worker Safety and Individual Accountability

by Williams Mullen on

Massey Energy CEO Donald Blankenship reported to a California prison on May 12 to begin serving a one-year sentence for willfully violating mine safety standards. His conviction was related to the deadliest United States...more

Environmental Notes - May 2016

by Williams Mullen on

The news has been full of stories and articles concerning Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR), also referred to as coal ash. CCR became a hot topic in 2008 when a coal ash pond at a utility plant in Tennessee spilled more than 5...more

Changing Culture: the Exxon Valdez in Safety and 1MDB in Compliance

by Thomas Fox on

Before there was the BP oil well blow out in the gulf, the greatest US environmental disaster was the Exxon Valdez, which ran aground on a reef in Prince William Sound in southern Alaska, some 27 years ago on this date....more

Article: Dismissal of Charges in the British-Petroleum (BP) Deepwater Horizon Indictment … or the Over-Criminalization of the BP...

On April 20, 2010, just before 10 p.m., the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig suddenly exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, 48 miles off the Louisiana coast. Tragically, eleven men on the vessel died. Oil ultimately flowed from the...more

DOJ shifts enforcement of worker safety violations to Environmental Crimes Section

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates announced in a December 17 memo that the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Labor (DOL) are making a renewed commitment “to utilize criminal prosecution as an...more

The US Departments of Justice and Labor Announce Expansion of Worker Endangerment Initiative

Just in time for the holidays, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Labor (DOL) announced a new plan to prosecute crimes that put workers’ health and lives at risk. As explained in the December 17, 2015 press...more

DOJ Redoubles Efforts to Prosecute Workplace Violations as Environmental Crimes

by Alston & Bird on

Reporting that 13 workers in America die each day on the job due to injuries and 150 workers succumb to exposure to carcinogens and other toxic and hazardous substances while working, the United States Department of Justice...more

U.S. Department of Justice Expands Worker Endangerment Initiative

by Bracewell LLP on

On December 17, 2015, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates issued a memorandum to all 93 U.S. Attorneys urging federal prosecutors to work with the Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resource Division (ENRD) to...more

New DOJ Prosecutorial Initiative Blends Environmental and Worker Safety

by Beveridge & Diamond PC on

Companies with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) citations may face criminal charges going beyond those allowed under the OSHA statute, under a new Worker Endangerment Initiative and Memorandum of...more

DOJ Signals More Aggressive Stance On Environmental Crimes

by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP on

The Department of Justice announced on December 17, 2015, that it would intensify enforcement of environmental and safety laws by adding in environmental criminal counts to worker safety prosecutions. The worker safety issues...more

SHE Matters: Swingeing Fines for Large organisations: Can they be avoided? - The Court of Appeal Decision in the Thames Water Case

by DLA Piper on

In early June, the Court of Appeal handed down judgment in an appeal against sentence brought by Thames Water Utilities Ltd. The company had been fined £250,000 after pleading guilty to a breach of the Environmental...more

UK courts get tough on environmental crime: sentencing of environmental offences committed by large companies

by Reed Smith on

There is a widely held belief that environmental laws in the UK are toothless in practice because enforcement authorities are under resourced and typical levels of fines and penalties imposed are far too low. This view...more

Corporate Wrongdoing: More Civil and Criminal Liability for Individuals?

by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP on

The US Department of Justice has issued a memorandum to all of its prosecuting Divisions, directing changes to the principles applied by DOJ in prosecuting civilly or criminally individuals who engage in corporate misconduct....more

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