Environment Prosecutions for April 2014
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.
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.
Table 2. Number of Defendants per Case
Report Generated: July 3, 2014
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