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Using Auditing, Pollution Prevention, and Management Systems to Craft Superior Environmental Enforcement Solutions

May 2000

Citation: 30 ELR 10299

Issue: 5

Author: William L. Thomas, Bertram C. Frey, and Fern Fleischer Daves

"'Now, that's what I was afraid of!' Porfiry exclaimed hotly and as if involuntarily.

'That's what I was afraid of, that you don't want our reduction.'"

—Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment1

The "environmental cop"2 is very much on the beat, requiring environmental cleanup and meting out punishment for transgressions of U.S. law. In fiscal year (FY) 1999, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concluded enforcement cases requiring a record $ 3.6 billion for environmental cleanup, pollution control equipment, pollution prevention and improved monitoring; a record $ 166.7 million in civil and administrative penalties; and $ 61.6 million in criminal fines. The Agency took 3,935 civil and administrative enforcement actions and referred 241 cases for criminal prosecution.3 And, as in past years,4 guards escorted corporate employees and managers to prisons which, unlike those etched by Piranesi, are anything but imaginary.5

Mr. Thomas is an associate in the Washington, D.C., office of Winthrop, Stimson, Putnam & Roberts. Mr. Frey is deputy regional counsel in U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Region 5 office. Ms. Fleischer Daves, an attorney in private practice, was corporate environmental counsel of ASARCO Incorporated from September 1992 to January 2000. Although Ms. Fleischer Daves provided information on the agreements negotiated between ASARCO and the government during her tenure as corporate environmental counsel for ASARCO, Mr. Thomas wrote the portions of this Article relating to the ASARCO consent decrees. The authors wish to thank EPA Region 5 Extern Karry A. Johnson and William Watt for their significant contributions to this Article. The authors also wish to thank EPA Region 5 Extern Tamara Carnovsky and EPA National Intern Michael Compher for their comments and contributions to the penultimate draft. Any opinions expressed in this Article are those of the authors and do not represent an endorsement of any point of view by EPA.

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