The U.S. Attorney’s Environmental Crimes Working Group (ECWG) was formed in response to a survey of relevant federal, state, and local law enforcement and regulatory agencies with environmental protection missions. The strategic goals and objectives of the ECWG are to develop and enhance cooperation and information-sharing among member agencies, assist in the effective enforcement of their respective environmental laws and regulations, provide prosecutorial support, and offer training opportunities to protect and improve the quality of New Hampshire’s natural resources for generations to come.
The strategic goals and objectives of the ECWG are as follows:
1. Enhance and develop the cooperation and capabilities of member agencies in the effective enforcement of their respective environmental laws.
2. Encourage and assist in the exchange of environmental crime related information and intelligence between member agencies.
3. Provide prosecutorial support to member agencies enforcing federal environmental laws.
4. Encourage and provide opportunities through training, networking and exchanging skills in the enforcement of environmental crimes.
The ECWG meets semi-annually – spring and fall – at locations throughout New Hampshire. The inaugural meeting of the ECWG was hosted by the United States Attorney’s Office (USAO) on April 22, 2010, coinciding with the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. On October 15, 2010, the fall meeting was held at United States Forest Service headquarters for the White Mountain National Forest in Campton, NH. That meeting was attended by Ignacio Moreno, Assistant Attorney General for the Environment & Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, DC. Meetings have also been held at Starr Island, the Coastal Conservation Center, the Seacoast Science Center, and the Harris Center for Conservation Education.
Topics covered by the ECWG include the negative impact of subtle poaching, the effects of false labeling of seafood, Lacey Act violations, transportation of hazardous materials, illegal dumping, and timber theft, among others. In order to promote the ECWG’s information-sharing objective, a portal was constructed utilizing the Law Enforcement Online (LEO) program administered by the FBI. The forum is password protected and available to ECWG members as a secure resource for exchanging intelligence and investigative strategies.