It is disquieting to think that the prosecution of environmental criminals boils down to budget numbers… And yet there it is. Thankfully the EPA’s strategic plan for 2011 shows a 20% budget increase allowing for more aggressive environmental crime enforcement in the new year including the hiring of 50 additional criminal investigators over the course of 2011.
In 2010 corporate prosecutions were down year-over-year, but individual prospections were up. In real numbers that amounts to 50 criminal cases against 79 defendants concluded in 2010. The result? 28 years of jail time and $89 million in fines. Those stats and many more can be gleaned from the recent comments of Assistant Attorney General, Ignacia Moreno who serves in the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the Department of Justice.
Still, if this list is the EPA’s idea of top environmental criminals, you’ve got to wonder at their enforcement priorities… The agency’s most wanted lists includes individuals responsible for such dastardly heinous crimes as “blending of motor fuel” and trading in "ozone depleting contraband." By all means let us bring these rapscallions to justice.