Environmental Crimes

Article excerpt

I. INTRODUCTION II. COMMON ISSUES

A. Liability

1. Corporate

2. Responsible Corporate Officer Doctrine

B. Common Defenses

1. Constitutional Defenses

2. Other Defenses

C. Sentencing Issues

1. Voluntary Compliance III. RESOURCE CONSERVATION AND RECOVERY ACT

A. Purpose

B. Scope

C. Elements of the Offense

1. Knowledge Requirement Under the RCRA

2. Knowing Endangerment

D. Defenses

E. Penalties

F. Enforcement IV. TOXIC SUBSTANCES CONTROL ACT

A. Purpose

B. Scope

1. Section 3: Testing Requirements

2. Section 4: Notice of New Substances or Uses

3. Section 5: Restrictions on Manufacture, Processing,

Distribution, Use, and Disposal

4. Section 14: Commercial Use

C. Elements of the Offense

D. Penalties V. THE FEDERAL INSECTICIDE, FUNGICIDE AND RODENTICIDE ACT

A. Elements of the Offense

B. Penalties VI. COMPREHENSIVE ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSE, COMPENSATION AND LIABILITY ACT

A. Scope

B. Elements of the Offense

C. Penalties VII. CLEAN AIR ACT

A. Programs Under the Clean Air Act

1. National Ambient Air Quality Standards

2. National Uniform Emission Standards for Hazardous Air

Pollutants

3. New Source Performance Standards

4. Acid Deposition Regulation

5. Stratospheric Ozone Protection

B. Elements of a Clean Air Act Offense

1. Violation

2. Knowledge

C. Defenses

D. Penalties VIII. SAFE DRINKING WATER ACT

A. Purpose

B. Legislative Developments Programs

1. Underground Injection of Contaminants

a. Elements of the Offense

b. Penalties

2. Regulation of Drinking Water Coolers

a. Elements of the Offense

b. Penalties

3. Enforcement of Ban on Tampering

a. Elements of the Offense

b. Penalties IX. CLEAN WATER ACT

A. Purpose

B. Programs

1. Effluent Limitations and Water Quality Standards;

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System

("NPDES") Permit Program

2. Monitoring, Reporting and Regulatory Searches

3. Discharge of Oil and Hazardous Substances

4. Prohibition on Dredge and Fill Activities

Elements of the Offense

D. Defenses

E. Penalties X. THE RIVERS AND HARBORS ACT OF 1899

A. Purpose

B. Elements of the Offense.

C. Defenses

D. Penalties XI. RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

A. Enforcement

B. Legislative Developments

C. Proposed Sentencing Guidelines

D. Judicial Developments

I. INTRODUCTION

The enforcement of federal environmental regulations through criminal prosecution occurs under eight principal statutes. Under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act ("RCRA"),(1) a set of amendments giving teeth to the Federal Solid Waste Disposal Act ("SWDA"), criminal penalties are imposed on persons who improperly transport, store, or treat hazardous wastes. The Toxic Substances Control Act ("TSCA")(2) addresses the manufacture, processing and distribution or disposal of chemicals that pose an unreasonable risk of injury to the public or environment. The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act ("FIFRA") regulates the manufacture, registration, transportation, sale and use of toxic pesticides.(3) The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act ("CERCLA")(4) mandates the cleanup of hazardous. substances at contaminated sites and imposes criminal penalties on those who violate its provision. …