August 26, 2014
Exxonmobil Pipeline Company to Pay Civil Penalty Under Proposed Settlement for Torbert, Louisiana Oil Spill
ExxonMobil Pipeline Company (ExxonMobil) has agreed to pay a civil penalty for an alleged violation of the Clean Water Act stemming from a 2012 crude oil spill from ExxonMobil’s “North Line” pipeline near Torbert, Louisiana, the Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today. Under the consent decree lodged today in federal court, ExxonMobil will pay $1,437,120 to resolve the government’s claim.
August 15, 2014
Big Game Hunting Outfitter Pleads Guilty to Felony Conspiracy Charge in Connection with Illegal Mountain Lion and Bobcat Hunting Activities
Christopher W. Loncarich, 55, of Mack, Colorado, pleaded guilty in federal court in Denver to a felony conspiracy charge stemming from his sale of outfitting services for illegal mountain lion and bobcat hunts in Colorado and Utah, the Justice Department announced.
August 1, 2014
Two Maryland Fishermen Plead Guilty to Illegal Fish Harvesting Conspiracy in the Chesepeake Bay
Michael D. Hayden, 41, and William J. Lednum, 42, both of Tilghman Island, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to conspiring to violate the Lacey Act and to defraud the United States through their illegal harvesting and sale of striped bass, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division Sam Hirsch, U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Superintendent of the Maryland Natural Resources Police Colonel George F. Johnson IV and Regional Special Agent in Charge for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Honora Gordon.
July 30, 2014
Big Game Hunting Guide Pleads Guilty to Felony Conspiracy Charge in Connection with Colorado Outfitter’s Illegal Mountain Lion and Bobcat Hunting Activities
Nicholaus J. Rodgers, 31, of Shady Cove, Oregon, pleaded guilty in federal court in Denver to a felony conspiracy charge stemming from the assistance he provided to an outfitter who sold illegal mountain lion and bobcat hunts in Colorado and Utah, the Justice Department announced.
July 29, 2014
Canadian Antique Dealer Charged with Trafficking Wildlife
Canadian antiques dealer Xiao Ju Guan, aka Tony Guan, 39, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Manhattan today for conspiring to smuggle wildlife, including rhinoceros horn, elephant ivory and coral, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Sam Hirsch for the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara for the Southern District of New York and Director Dan Ashe of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS).
July 28, 2014
Historic Clean Water Act Settlement Will Prevent Millions of Gallons of Sewage Discharges into San Francisco Bay
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced a Clean Water Act settlement requiring the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) and seven East Bay communities to conduct extensive system repairs aimed at eliminating millions of gallons of sewage discharges into San Francisco Bay. Under today’s agreement, EBMUD and the communities will assess and upgrade their 1,500 mile-long sewer system infrastructure over a 21-year period. The work is expected to cost approximately $1.5 billion. The entities will pay civil penalties of $1.5 million for past sewage discharges that violated federal environmental law.
July 22, 2014
Australian Man Pleads Guilty in Las Vegas to Biofuels Fraud Scheme
Nathan Stoliar, 64, of Australia, pleaded guilty in federal court in Las Vegas today to five felonies for his role in multiple schemes, worth in excess of $41 million, to generate fraudulent biodiesel credits and to export biodiesel without providing biodiesel credits to the United States as required by law.
July 16, 2014
North Carolina Recycling Business and Owner Sentenced to Unlawful Handling of PCB-Contaminated Oil, Tax Violations, and False Statements
Benjamin Franklin Pass, 61, and P&W Waste Oil Services Inc. (P&W), of Leland, North Carolina were sentenced today in federal court in Raleigh, North Carolina. Pass was sentenced to 42 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $21,373,143.38 for clean-up costs associated with the environmental contamination at his business and an additional $538,857 to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for federal income taxes he failed to pay between 2002 and 2011.
Long Island Fish Dealer Pleads Guilty to Fraud, Falsifying Federal Records, and Lacey Act Violations
Jones Inlet Seafood Co., Inc., a federally-licensed fish dealer located in Point Lookout, New York, its company president, Michael G. Mihale, and the company vice-president, Bruce Larson, Jr. pleaded guilty today in federal court in Central Islip, New York., to federal felonies stemming from their role in systematically underreporting fluke (summer flounder) that was being harvested as part of the federal Research Set-Aside (RSA) Program, the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division announced.
U.S. Settlement with Minnesota Coal-Fired Utility to Reduce Emissions
In a settlement with the United States, Minnesota Power (MP), an ALLETE company based in Duluth, Minnesota has agreed to install pollution control technology and meet stringent emission rates to reduce harmful air pollution from the company’s three coal-fired power plants located in Cohasset, Hoyt Lakes and Schroeder, Minnesota, the Department of Justice and the ...
July 10, 2014
U.S. Branch of Canadian Company to Pay $2.5 Million Penalty for Shreveport, La., Wastewater Plant
Houston-based CCS (USA) Inc. and several of its operating subsidiaries will pay a $2.5 million civil penalty relating to operations at its Shreveport, Louisiana, industrial wastewater treatment plant, the Department of Justice, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the state of Louisiana announced today. The settlement will resolve violations of the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act and the hazardous waste law known as RCRA.
June 24, 2014
Texas Man Pleads Guilty to Rhino and Ivory Smuggling Conspiracy
Ning Qiu, a resident of Frisco, Texas, and an appraiser of Asian art, pleaded guilty today in federal court to participating in an illegal wildlife smuggling conspiracy in which rhinoceros horns and objects made from rhino horn and elephant ivory worth nearly $1 million were smuggled from the United States to China.
June 19, 2014
Houston Man Charged with Biofuels Fraud Scheme
A federal grand jury in Houston, Texas, today indicted Philip Joseph Rivkin, a/k/a Felipe Poitan Arriaga, for offenses involving a federal renewable fuel program that allegedly netted him more than $29 million, the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division announced. The 68-count indictment against Rivkin, 49, of Houston and most recently, Guatemala City, Guatemala, includes allegations of wire fraud, mail fraud, Clean Air Act false statements, and money laundering.
June 5, 2014
Georgia Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Charges for Discharging Waste into Potomac River
Patrick Brightwell, 48, of Bogart, Georgia, pleaded guilty today to federal charges that he orchestrated the discharge of waste into the Potomac River at East Potomac Park from 2009 through 2011, during the same period he managed the company hired by the National Park Service to clean out the storm water sewer system on the National Mall.
May 28, 2014
Ringleader of International Rhino Smuggling Conspiracy Sentenced in New Jersey to 70 Months in Prison for Wildlife Trafficking Crimes
Zhifei Li, the owner of an antique business in China, was sentenced today to serve 70 months in prison for heading an illegal wildlife smuggling conspiracy in which 30 rhinoceros horns and numerous objects made from rhino horn and elephant ivory worth more than $4.5 million were smuggled from the United States to China.
May 20, 2014
Jordanian Shipping Company Pleads Guilty to Illegally Discharging Oily Waste
Jordan-based Arab Ship Management Ltd. pleaded guilty today in federal court in Wilmington, Delaware, to one count of violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, the Justice Department and the U.S. Coast Guard announced.
May 14, 2014
Tennessee Salvage Company Owner and Operator Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Violate the Clean Air Act
The owner and operator of a Tennessee salvage and demolition company, A&E Salvage Inc., pleaded guilty today in federal court in Greeneville, Tennessee, for conspiring to violate the Clean Air Act.
EPA Requires Global Titanium Manufacturer to Investigate and Clean Up PCB Contamination in Nevada
Titanium Metals Corporation (TIMET), one of the world’s largest producers of titanium parts for jet engines, has agreed to pay a record $13.75 million civil penalty and perform an extensive investigation and cleanup of potential contamination stemming primarily from the unauthorized manufacture and disposal of PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) at its manufacturing facility in Henderson, Nevada, the Department of Justice and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today.
May 7, 2014
Acting Assistant Attorney General Dreher Speaks at the District of Columbia Bar Association Panel on U.S. Efforts to Combat Wildlife Trafficking
Good afternoon. It is a distinct pleasure to be here and to participate in the discussion of this vitally important topic, especially with such a distinguished and knowledgeable panel and the other co-chairs of the Presidential Task Force on Wildlife Trafficking.
April 23, 2014
Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority Signs Agreement That Will Bring It into Compliance with the Clean Air Act
Under an agreement announced today by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Justice, the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (VIWAPA) will come into compliance with air pollution control requirements in the federal Clean Air Act at its Estate Richmond Generating Facility located on St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. These air pollution control requirements help reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) that can cause serious respiratory health effects. These pollutants are linked to serious health problems, including asthma, lung and heart disease.
Brooklyn Fish Dealer Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud
Alan Dresner, a federally-licensed fish dealer from Brooklyn, N.Y., pleaded guilty today in federal court in Central Islip, N.Y., to federal violations stemming from his role in systematically underreporting fluke (summer flounder) that was being harvested as part of the federal Research Set-Aside (RSA) Program, the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division announced.
April 22, 2014
Environment and Natural Resources Division Releases FY 2013 Accomplishments Report
The Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD) today released its Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 Accomplishments Report
, detailing its work alongside other federal agencies, U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, and state, local and tribal governments to enforce environmental and wildlife laws, protect our nation’s natural resources and ensure that all Americans enjoy clean air, water and land.
April 17, 2014
Corporate-Wide Settlement with Lowe’s Protects Public from Lead Pollution During Home Renovations
Lowe’s Home Centers, one of the nation’s largest home improvement retailers, has agreed to implement a comprehensive, corporate-wide compliance program at its more than 1,700 stores nationwide to ensure its contractors minimize lead dust from home renovation activities, as required by the federal Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule, the Department of Justice and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today. The company will also pay a $500,000 civil penalty, which is the largest ever for violations of the RRP Rule.
April 11, 2014
Long Island Fisherman Pleads Guilty to Mail Fraud, Wire Fraud, and Records Falsification
WASHINGTON – Anthony Joseph, a commercial fisherman from Levittown, N.Y., pleaded guilty today in federal court in Central Islip, N.Y., to federal violations stemming from his role in systematically underreporting fluke (summer flounder) that was being harvested as part of the federal Research Set-Aside (RSA) Program, the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division announced.
April 2, 2014
Two California Men Indicted for Selling Endangered Black Rhinoceros Horns
Edward N. Levine, 63, of Mill Valley, Calif., and Lumsden W. Quan, 46, of San Francisco, were indicted by a federal grand jury in Las Vegas today for the illegal sale of two horns from an endangered black rhinoceros, announced Robert G. Dreher, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, and Daniel G. Bogden, U.S. Attorney for the District of Nevada. The indictment is a result of “Operation Crash,” a nationwide effort led by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) and the Justice Department to investigate and prosecute those involved in the black market trade of endangered rhinoceros horns.
March 20, 2014
Texas Chemical Plant Agrees to Cut Harmful Air Pollution in Overburdened Community
The Department of Justice and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that Flint Hills Resources of Port Arthur has agreed to implement innovative technologies to control harmful air pollution from industrial flares and leaking equipment at the company’s chemical plant in Port Arthur, Texas. This settlement is part of EPA’s national effort to advance environmental justice by protecting communities such as Port Arthur that have been disproportionately impacted by pollution. The company is also required to pay a $350,000 penalty for Clean Air Act violations.
March 19, 2014
North America’s Largest Acid Manufacturer and Its Subsidiaries Agree to Slash Emissions and Reduce Air Pollution
LSB Industries Inc. (LSB), the largest merchant manufacturer of concentrated nitric acid in North America, and four of its subsidiaries have agreed to reduce harmful emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) by meeting emission limits that are among the lowest for the industry in the nation at plants in Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Justice announced today.
March 14, 2014
Alabama Pest Control Company and Its Owner Plead Guilty to Unlawful Application of Pesticides at Georgia Nursing Homes
Steven A. Murray, 54, of Pelham, Ala., and his company, Bio-Tech Management Inc., pleaded guilty today in federal court in Macon, Ga., to charges of conspiracy, unlawful use of pesticides, false statements and mail fraud in connection with the misapplication of pesticides in Georgia nursing homes, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Robert G. Dreher of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division and U.S. Attorney Michael J. Moore for the Middle District of Georgia.
March 5, 2014
Coal Companies and Subsidiaries to Spend Estimated $200 Million on Treatment and System-wide Upgrades to Reduce Water Pollution
$27.5 Million Civil Penalty Is Largest in History Under Section 402 of the Clean Water Act - Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. (Alpha), one of the nation’s largest coal companies, Alpha Appalachian Holdings (formerly Massey Energy), and 66 subsidiaries have agreed to spend an estimated $200 million to install and operate wastewater treatment systems and to implement comprehensive, system-wide upgrades to reduce discharges of pollution from coal mines in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia, the Department of Justice and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today. Overall, the settlement covers approximately 79 active mines and 25 processing plants in these five states.
March 4, 2014
Singapore Shipping Company, Crew Member, Plead Guilty to Illegally Discharging Oily Waste
Singapore-based ODFJELL ASIA II PTE LTD (ODFJELL) and one of its senior crew members pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Hartford, Conn., for violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS), announced Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division Robert G. Dreher, United States Attorney Deirdre M. Daly and Rear Admiral Daniel B. Abel, Commander of the First Coast Guard District in Boston.
February 27, 2014
National Task Force on Wildlife Trafficking and Interpol Officials to Mark World Wildlife Day
On Monday, March 3, 2014, at 2:00 p.m. EST, at an event marking World Wildlife Day, INTERPOL’s Environmental Security Sub-directorate will present an executive summary of two strategic law enforcement reports on wildlife crime: Assessment of Enforcement Responses to Tiger Crime and Elephant Poaching and Ivory in East Africa: Assessment for an Effective Law Enforcement Response. In addition, representatives of the national wildlife trafficking task force will discuss efforts to eradicate the illegal wildlife trade and better protect the world’s most iconic species from the threat of extinction.
February 26, 2014
Testimony as Prepared for Delivery by Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Environmental and Natural Resources Division Robert Dreher Before the U.s. House Committee on Foreign Affairs
Chairman Royce, Representative Engel, and Members of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today to discuss the work of the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (“ENRD” or the “Division”) with respect to the Administration’s efforts to combat wildlife trafficking. I have the privilege to serve as the Acting Assistant Attorney General for ENRD, and I am grateful for the opportunity to represent the interests of the United States.
February 14, 2014
Narwhal Tusk Trafficker Convicted of Conspiracy and Money Laundering
Andrew L. Zarauskas, 60, of Union, N.J., was found guilty today by a federal jury in Bangor, Maine, of illegally trafficking and smuggling narwhal tusks, and associated money laundering crimes, announced Robert G. Dreher, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division.
February 5, 2014
W.R. Grace Pays Over $63 Million Toward Cleanup and Restoration of Hazardous Waste Sites in Communities Across the Country
W.R. Grace & Co, based in Columbia, Md., paid over $63 million to the U.S. government under its bankruptcy plan of reorganization to resolve claims for environmental cleanups at approximately 39 sites in 21 states, the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today.
January 29, 2014
Tropical Fish Importer Pleads Guilty in New York Federal Court to Piranha Import Violations
Joel Rakower, along with his solely-owned corporation, Transship Discounts Ltd., pleaded guilty today in federal court in Brooklyn, N.Y., to violating the Lacey Act by mislabeling imported piranhas, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Robert G. Dreher for the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the Department of Justice and Queens County District Attorney Richard A. Brown.
January 22, 2014
Property Owner and Maintenance Supervisor Plead Guilty in Albany to Crimes Relating to Illegal Handling and Disposal of Asbestos
John Mills and Terrance Allen, both of Malone, N.Y., pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Albany, N.Y., to conspiracy to violate the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and substantive CERCLA counts in relation to the illegal removal, handling, and disposal of asbestos from properties owned and operated by John Mills, announced Robert G. Dreher, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the Department of Justice.
January 16, 2014
Two Men Charged in Las Vegas with Biofuels Fraud Scheme
Two men have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Las Vegas for offenses involving the federal renewable fuel program that allegedly netted them more than $37 million, announced the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, Criminal Division, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Nevada. The 57-count indictment against James Jariv, 63, of Las Vegas, and Nathan Stoliar, 64, of Australia, includes allegations of conspiracy, wire fraud, false statements under the Clean Air Act, obstruction of justice and conspiracy to engage in money laundering.
January 10, 2014
Irish National Sentenced to Serve 14 Months in Prison for Trafficking of Endangered Rhinoceros Horns
Michael Slattery Jr., an Irish national, was sentenced in federal court in Brooklyn, N.Y., today to serve 14 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release, for conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act in relation to illegal rhinoceros horn trafficking, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Robert G. Dreher for the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney Loretta E. Lynch for the Eastern District of New York, and Director Dan Ashe of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
January 8, 2014
Colorado Big Game Outfitter and Assistant Guide Charged with Conspiracy for Illegal Capture and Maiming of Mountain Lions and Bobcats in Colorado and Utah
Christopher W. Loncarich, 55, of Mack, Colo., and Nicholaus J. Rodgers, 30, of Medford, Ore., were charged yesterday in the District of Colorado with conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act, interstate felony transportation and sale of unlawfully taken wildlife, and felony creation of false records concerning wildlife that was sold in interstate commerce.
January 7, 2014
Tennessee Men Plead Guilty to Illegally Trafficking Narwhal Tusks
Jay G. Conrad, of Lakeland, Tenn., pleaded guilty today in the District of Maine to conspiring to illegally import and traffic narwhal tusks, conspiring to launder money, and illegally trafficking narwhal tusks, announced Robert G. Dreher, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division.
January 6, 2014
Dallas-Based Companies Agree to Pay Civil Penalty to Settle Clean Air Act Violations Stemming from Illegal Import of Vehicles
A Dallas-based group of companies and their owner must either stop importing vehicles or follow a comprehensive compliance plan to settle Clean Air Act (CAA) violations stemming from the alleged illegal import of over 24,167 highway motorcycles and recreational vehicles into the United States without proper documentation, the Department of Justice and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced. The four parties are also required to pay a $120,000 civil penalty.