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International Business Times
May 22, 2017

Under Trump Administration, Environmental Prosecutions Headed Toward 20-Year Low
By Josh Keef


Federal prosecutors are on pace to prosecute fewer environmental crimes this year than at any time in the last two decades, an analysis of environmental charges for fiscal year 2017 indicates. If this year's current trends hold, there will be just 304 environmental prosecutions, down from more than 600 in 2012 and more than 900 in 2007. The analysis, released Monday by Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, found federal environmental prosecutions in the first year of Donald Trumpís presidency are on pace to be lowest since the clearinghouse began monitoring environmental prosecutions in 1997. Environmental prosecutions include pollution, wildlife and animal welfare crimes, among others. This year is part of a slow downward trend, with prosecutions dipping to less than 400 in 2014 for the first time since 1997. The two years with the most prosecutions both occurred during the George W. Bush administration: U.S. attorneys prosecuted more than 900 cases in 2001 and 2007. Nearly 58 percent of the 152 prosecutions tallied in the first half of 2017 were related to violations of federal wildlife protections, the clearinghouse said. Illegally taken fish and wildlife was the most prosecuted charge, followed by animal fighting charges. Most of the charges filed by U.S. attorneys were against individuals: Only 14 of the 152 prosecutions were against businesses, and those were primarily for water and air pollution violations.


Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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