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Criminal Law

Illegal Water Use, Marijuana, and California’s Environment.

The illicit and illegal use of water to grow marijuana is an environmental problem that has plagued the recently legalized crop for decades. Because growing marijuana has consistently been a more visible crime than theft and diversion...

Prosecutorial Discretion and Environmental Crime

The environmental laws create a complex regulatory system affecting a wide range of economic activity in the United States. Given the wide range of potential environmental violations, it might have been preferable for Congress to...

"Touby" or Not "Touby": The Constitutional Question When Congress Authorizes State and Local Governments to Legislate the Contours of Federal Criminal Law

Congress allows state and local governments to legislate federal criminal law. Violating some local ordinances, for example, constitutes a federal felony under the CWA. The U.S. Supreme Court has not yet decided how to review this type...

Evolution of Criminal Environmental Enforcement

Since federal and state governments first began prosecuting environmental crimes more than 25 years ago, the nature of the cases they have investigated and prosecuted has changed dramatically. In the early years of criminal enforcement...

Time to Feed the Evidence: What to Do With Seized Animals

Editor's Summary: Most people agree that unjustified cruelty to animals should be avoided. Consequently, all 50 states and the District of Columbia have laws prohibiting such abuse. Yet when the owner of an animal is suspected of...

"Green Collar Criminals" and Wetlands Uncertainty: The Effect of Criminal Provisions in Public Welfare Statutes on Wetlands

Under the public welfare doctrine, certain regulatory crimes require no showing of the traditional mens rea, or "guilty mind," as a predicate to criminal liability. The doctrine has been used to relax intent requirements in criminal...

Adaptive Management: How Water Law Needs to Change

Adaptive management represents the future of natural resource management, including that of water and aquatic resources. Adaptive management is an inherently flexible system, in which resource managers establish desired outcomes,...

The Changing Face of Federal Environmental Criminal Law: Trends and Developments--1999-2001

According to well-settled legal principles and policies, criminal prosecution under our federal environmental laws traditionally was reserved for the most egregious and flagrant offenses, i.e., for those alleged offenses that...

Conducting Internal Investigations--What to Do and Not Do

The investigation and prosecution of environmental crimes has steadily increased over the past decade.1 Regulatory agencies responsible for overseeing compliance with environmental statutes have become...

ISO 14001: Application of International Environmental Management Systems Standards in the United States

Editors' Summary: After three years of work, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has essentially completed its voluntary environmental management systems standard—ISO 14001. This Article reviews the standard's...