The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during November 2018 the government reported 34 new environment prosecutions.
According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is up from 20 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 2018 prosecutions of this type are compared with those of the same period in
the previous year, the number of filings was up (8.3%).
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 13.7 percent from levels reported in 2013.
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.