Criminal Sanctions Applicable to Federal Water Pollution Control Measures
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH
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Overkill or not enough Two decades ago, Congress realized that a system of civil remedies alone, devoid of any lasting punitive consequences, was inadequate to insure compliance with environmental protection statutes. Other than the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899, which was designed to protect navigation, Federal criminal sanctions were not applicable to water pollution offenses. The Federal Water Pollution Control Act, more commonly known as the Clean Water Act CWA, was twenty-four years old before Federal criminal enforcement of its provisions was allowed. But since the early 1970s, the criminal provisions of the CWA have been strengthened, the United States Department of Justice has beefed up its environmental enforcement efforts, and environmental polluters have been prosecuted. This Federal effort is now approaching overkill.
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