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Beveridge & Diamond’s 100 lawyers in seven U.S. offices focus on environmental and natural resource law, litigation and dispute resolution. We help clients around the world resolve critical environmental and sustainability issues relating to their products, facilities, and operations. 

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Showing 8 posts in Environmental Crime. View our practice description for Environmental Crime.

“Oh The Times . . . They are A-Changing:” EPA & DOJ Follow Through on Worker Endangerment Initiative

On October 12, 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced that four Texas companies agreed to plead guilty to criminal violations of the Clean Air Act at oil and chemical processing facilities, and to collectively pay $3.5 million in fines to the government.  While Clean Air Act criminal prosecutions are no longer rare events, and the total fines imposed set no new records, these cases are noteworthy for three critical reasons:  Read More ›

Beveridge & Diamond Attorneys Author Environment Chapters in The Complete Compliance and Ethics Manual: 2016

Pete Anderson (Principal, Washington, DC), Jessalee Landfried (Associate, Washington, DC), and Gaya Patel (Associate, Washington, DC) recently authored a chapter in The Complete Compliance and Ethics Manual: 2016 published by the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics.  Their chapter, “Environmental Law and Compliance,” provides an overview of the most common environmental statutory and regulatory programs that can impose environmental obligations on regulated industries. In this chapter, the authors also summarize the key obligations and potential violations associated with a wide variety of environmental statutes, ranging from commonly known statutes such as the Clean Air Act to less-familiar statutes such as the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act. Read More ›

EPA Targets Confined Animal Feeding Operations for Criminal Enforcement

This month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a criminal enforcement alert (EPA CAFO alert) warning that Clean Water Act (CWA) violations by confined animal feeding operations (known as CAFOs) will be prioritized for aggressive enforcement and criminal prosecution, including fines and incarceration. The alert, which is available here, outlines EPA’s national enforcement initiative to reduce water pollution from CAFOs – an initiative that has resulted in numerous criminal enforcement actions involving knowing or negligent discharges of animal wastes.


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Owner of Electronics Export Company Receives a 30-Month Prison Sentence

On March 22, 2013, the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan sentenced Discount Computers, Inc. (“DCI”), a computer company, and its owner for trafficking in counterfeit goods and services and for violating environmental laws related to the fraudulent export of cathode ray tubes (“CRTs). The prosecution of DCI, along with the December 2012 prosecution of a Colorado electronics recycler for illegal exportation of CRTs, demonstrate the federal government’s increased focus on using existing laws to pursue criminal enforcement to address the illegal handling and disposal of e-waste. Cynthia Giles, EPA’s Assistant Administrator for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, cautions that these criminal sentences should serve as a warning to all those who illegally export e-waste from the United States. Read More ›

RIN Prosecutions: Where Fraud Meets Environmental Protection . . . Once Again

On February 22, 2013, Rodney Hailey, the owner of Clean Green Fuel LLC, was sentenced to 151 months (or 12.5 years) in prison, and ordered to pay $42 million in restitution, for selling $9 million in fraudulent renewable fuel credits (RFCs) after being convicted in June 2012 of numerous federal crimes, including wire fraud, money laundering and violations of the Clean Air Act. Read More ›

Increased Federal Criminal Enforcement Against Oil and Gas Fracking Companies

While President Obama renewed his support for the “natural gas boom” in his State of the Union address last week, his administration continues to carefully scrutinize the environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) as a method to access these natural gas reserves. The federal government has been stepping up criminal enforcement actions against oil and gas drilling companies under existing environmental statutes like the Clean Water Act while state and federal governments are in the process of developing policies and regulations specifically targeted at fracking.   Read More ›

First-Ever Criminal CPSIA Charges Brought for the Importation and Sale of Hazardous Toys

On February 4, 2013, a 24-count federal indictment was issued charging multiple individuals and companies with importing and trafficking hazardous toys from China into the United States.[1] The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA)[2] added stringent limits on the amount of lead and phthalates in children’s products, including toys. This case, brought by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York and jointly investigated by a number of federal, state and local agencies, including the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), is the first criminal case alleging violations of these requirements.  Read More ›

Unprecedented Pesticides Criminal Penalty and Civil Settlement Announced

On September 7, 2012, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio sentenced Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (SMG), the world’s largest marketer of residential use pesticides, to pay a $4 million fine for eleven criminal violations of the federal law which governs the manufacture, distribution, and use of pesticides (the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act or FIFRA). In a separate consent agreement to resolve related civil pesticide violations with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), SMG will also pay more than $6 million in penalties, spend $2 million on environmental projects, and contribute another $500,000 to organizations that protect bird habitat. (To review a copy of the civil consent agreement, click here). The total criminal penalty and civil settlement payment of $12.5 million is the largest payment in the history of FIFRA, according to Ignacia S. Moreno, Assistant Attorney General for the Environment & Natural Resources Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ). (To review DOJ’s press release, click here). The criminal indictment and record-breaking fines could signal a new era in the government’s enforcement of the pesticide law. Read More ›