On May 25, 2021, Tyler Welti was quoted by Reuters on the prosecution of environmental crimes resulting from Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) referrals to the Department of Justice (DOJ), which are on track to drop by nearly 10% compared to the same period a year prior.
According to the article, so far during the DOJ's fiscal year 2021, which begins October 1, there have been 32 new prosecutions referred by the EPA, records show. At that pace, the annual total would reach 55 prosecutions. Prosecutions of environmental crimes totaled 61 last fiscal year.
The majority of the EPA's criminal referrals during fiscal year 2021 weren't prosecuted, a study by Stanford University researchers found. Companies fared better than individuals for referrals on which prosecutors took action. Nearly 8 out of 10 such cases were closed. Insufficient evidence was the most common reason.
Welti said that it is possible "the numbers start to catch up later this year, particularly given the change of administration."
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