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Law 360
August 24, 2021

Federal Enviro Criminal Prosecutions Continue To Decline
By Juan Carlos Rodriguez

Federal environmental criminal prosecutions at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of the Interior are on track to sink to their lowest level in more than 20 years, according to a report released Tuesday. In the first 10 months of fiscal year 2021, the U.S. Department of Justice reported 182 new environment criminal prosecutions, according to a study completed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University. If the rest of the fiscal year follows that trend, the EPA and Interior Department will log about 218, down 7.6% from fiscal year 2020, when there were 236 prosecutions, the study said. The declining number of prosecutions is a long-term trend, the study said. "Compared to five years ago when there were 393, the estimate of FY 2021 environmental prosecutions is down 44.5 percent," it said. The study also said that environmental prosecutions are down 63.6% from the 599 reported in FY 2011 and down 76.3% from the 919 reported in FY 2001.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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