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Environmental Crimes

15 January, 2016 - 09:31

Many federal environmental statutes have criminal provisions. These include the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (commonly called the Clean Water Act); the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (the Refuse Act); the Clean Air Act; the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA); the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA); and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Under the Clean Water Act, for example, wrongful discharge of pollutants into navigable waters carries a fine ranging from $2,500 to $25,000 per day and imprisonment for up to one year. “Responsible corporate officers” are specifically included as potential defendants in criminal prosecutions under the act. They can include officers who have responsibility over a project where subcontractors and their employees actually caused the discharge. 1