When the environmental stain on society is too tough for traditional remedies, what cleanser does Congress reach for? The perceived cleans-all solvent, the Money Laundering Control Act (MLCA).
The Crime Control Act of 1990 added the money laundering law's remedies to the arsenal the Justice Department and the Environmental Protection Agency can use to attack environmental violators.
Commercial lenders and their attorneys have largely ignored this application of the money laundering law. It is wrongly perceived as only an anti-drug measure.
In fact, the stringent law has always covered a broad spectrum of criminal activity, and recent amendments expand the range. In the environmental area, coverage now includes felony violations of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Resources Conservation and Recovery Act, and similar statutes. With the pressure on Washington to address environmental issues, one can only assume that the MLCA may soon be …