Environment Prosecutions for April 2014

Number Latest Month 23
Number Previous Month 28
Percent Change from 1 year ago -26.1
Percent Change from 5 years ago -12.8
Table 1. Criminal Environment Prosecutions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during April 2014 the government reported 23 new environment prosecutions. According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is down from 28 the previous month.

The comparisons of the number of defendants charged with environment-related offenses are based on case-by-case information obtained by TRAC under the Freedom of Information Act from the Executive Office for United States Attorneys (see Table 2).

When monthly 2014 prosecutions of this type are compared with those of the same period in the previous year, the number of filings was down (-26.1%). Prosecutions over the past year are still much lower than they were five years ago. Overall, the data show that prosecutions of this type are down 12.8 percent from levels reported in 2009.

The dip in these cases is partly related to increases in the matters filed in U.S. Magistrate Courts. If magistrate cases are excluded and only Federal District Court cases are counted, the overall decrease in environment prosecutions is 4.2 percent instead of 12.8 percent. The evidence suggests that part of the difference may be the result of improvements in the recording of the magistrate cases by the Justice Department.

Bar and line plot of FYMON

Figure 1. Monthly Trends in Environment Prosecutions

The decrease from the levels five years ago in environment prosecutions for these matters is shown more clearly in Figure 2. The vertical bars in Figure 2 represent the number of environment prosecutions of this type recorded on a month-to-month basis. Where a prosecution was initially filed in U.S. Magistrate Court and then transferred to the U.S. District Court, the magistrate filing date was used since this provides an earlier indicator of actual trends. The superimposed line on the bars plots the six-month moving average so that natural fluctuations are smoothed out. To view trends year-by-year rather than month-by-month, see TRAC's annual report series for a broader picture.

Number of Defendants in Environment Cases

Table 2 lists all separate cases with the number of defendants.

Case Defendant #  
2014 - Alaska (Anchorage) Case: 1 1 Details
2014 - Cal, C (Los Angeles) Case: 2 1 Details
2014 - Cal, N (San Francisco) Case: 3 1 Details
2014 - Iowa, S (Des Moines) Case: 4 1 Details
2014 - Ind, S (Indianapolis) Case: 5 1 Details
2014 - La, W (Shreveport) Case: 6 1 Details
2014 - La, W (Shreveport) Case: 7 1 Details
2014 - La, W (Shreveport) Case: 8 1 Details
2014 - La, W (Shreveport) Case: 9 1 Details
2014 - La, W (Shreveport) Case: 10 1 Details
2014 - La, W (Shreveport) Case: 11 1 Details
2014 - Mo, W (Kansas City) Case: 12 1 Details
2014 - Montana (Billings) Case: 13 1 Details
2014 - N. Y., W (Buffalo) Case: 14 1 Details
2014 - Ohio, N (Cleveland) Case: 15 1 Details
2014 - Oregon (Portland) Case: 16 1 Details
2014 - Penn, E (Philadelphia) Case: 17 1 Details
2014 - S Dakota (Sioux Falls) Case: 18 1 Details
2014 - S Dakota (Sioux Falls) Case: 19 1 Details
2014 - Utah (Salt Lake City) Case: 20 1 Details
2014 - Utah (Salt Lake City) Case: 21 1 Details
2014 - Utah (Salt Lake City) Case: 22 1 Details
2014 - Wyoming (Cheyenne) Case: 23 1 Details
Table 2. Number of Defendants per Case

Report Generated: July 3, 2014
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Copyright 2014, TRAC Reports, Inc.

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