Environmental Liabilities

Printer Friendly, PDF & Email

APPENDIX 5-I: The Swords and the Shields of Corporate Environmental Crimes

The SwordsThe Shields

☐ Substantial Risk of Death or Serious Bodily Injury (Knowing Endangerment)

☐ Significant Environmental Harm

  • Actual

  • Potential

☐ Foreseeability of the “Incident”

☐ Hazardous/Toxic Wastes/Materials

☐ History of Noncompliance/Serious Past Regulatory Violations

  • Acute Violations

    • Large Volumes

    • Long Duration

  • Chronic or “Ongoing and Continuous” Violations

  • Clear/Unambiguous Regulations or Permit Terms

☐ Significant Cleanup Costs

  • Economic Benefits Arising From Violations/Noncompliance

☐ Proof of Intent (vs. Accidental)

  • Degree: “Knowing” or “Negligent” (CWA)

  • Type:

    • Witness Testimony/Whistleblower

    • Notices of Violations

    • Emails

    • Reports/Memos

☐ Corporate Culpability Booster

  • Level of Participation in Violations

  • Pervasiveness of Wrongdoing Within Company

☐ “Process” Crimes

  • Lies/Cover-up/Concealment

    • Perjury

    • False Statements

      • Permitting

      • Investigation

☐ Obstruction

  • Document Destruction

  • Witness Intimidation

☐ “Effective” Corporate Compliance Program

☐ Voluntary Disclosure of Violations

☐ Cooperation with Authorities

☐ Internal Investigation

  • Prompt Initiation

  • Credible and Transparent Process

  • Root Cause Analysis

  • Disclosure (?)

☐ Post-Violation Remedial Actions

  • Voluntary Clean-up

  • Termination of Bad Apple Employees

☐ Collateral Consequences of Violations (Potential Overkill)

☐ Adequacy of Civil/Regulatory Enforcement (Proportional Enforcement)

☐ Adequacy of Prosecuting Individuals (Bad Apples vs. Bad Orchard)

☐ Continuous Improvements in Compliance Program/Training

* Reprinted with permission; Copyright 2015, Beveridge & Diamond, P.C.

This document is only available to subscribers. Please log in or purchase access.