Category: Current Affairs

The Origins of an Environmental Crimes Case

The Origins of an Environmental Crimes Case It has often been said that the only difference between an environmental criminal investigation and civil enforcement is who discovers the violation first.  And how does a violation get uncovered, as there are

USEPA Enforcement Observations

There is no other way to look at it – criminal enforcement by the USEPA is down and is down significantly from past years. Why is that? Has the public all of a sudden decided to get religion and comply

City of Houston Enforcement Pre-empted

On Friday, April 29, 2016, the Texas Supreme Court handed down an important decision, very favorable to industry, involving the City of Houston’s over-the-top criminal enforcement program.  While this one involved the Texas Clean Air Act (“TCAA”), it will have

What has Happened to the USEPA Criminal Enforcement Program?

What has Happened to the USEPA Criminal Enforcement Program?  I was reading this morning another article about the “new” USEPA Enforcement Initiatives.  Notwithstanding the USEPA’s enforcement statistics, criminal enforcement is down.  Fewer cases are being made and the cases that

Chief Engineer MARPOL Conviction Overturned by Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals

As reported by my good friend, George Chalos (it pays to ALWAYS challenge everything): On March 14, 2016, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals entered an Opinion in United States of America v. Matthaios Fafalios, 15-30146, vacating the judgment of

USEPA Announces National Enforcement Initiatives for 2017 through 2019

USEPA Announces National Enforcement Initiatives for 2017 through 2019  On February 18, 2016, the USEPA announced its seven “National Enforcement Initiatives” for the 2017 through 2019 fiscal years. Five of the initiatives are hold-overs (one expands its focus, however) and


The USDOJ and MSHA On December 17, 2015, the United States Department of Labor and the USDOJ entered into a Memorandum of Understanding that details worker safety issues that could lead to criminal prosecutions under the Federal Mine Safety and

MBTA Conviction Overturned

MBTA Conviction Overturned Yesterday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit released it opinion in the matter styled United States v. CITGO Petroleum Corp., et. al, No. 14-40128.  The Fifth Circuit reversed and remanded the matter undoing

Animas River Spill – A Double Standard??

Last week, the United States Environmental Protection Agency “accidentally” spilled nearly three million (3,000,000) gallons of contaminated wastewater from the Gold King mine in Colorado into the Animas River.  The spill occurred when the USEPA cleanup crew “accidentally” breached a

Exide Technologies Follow-up

Exide Technologies Follow-up On March 12, 2015, Exide Technologies announced that it will permanently close its lead-acid battery recycling facility in Vernon, CA under the terms of a non-prosecution agreement reached with the USAO for the Central District of California.  The