The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee is committed to ensure clean air, water and land for our citizens. We prosecute criminal cases under federal pollution and wildlife laws, and defend environmental and natural resources laws and federal agency programs and actions. With the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and several national forests and other preserves in our backyard, we feel a special connection and obligation to our environment. Our Environmental Crimes Task Force meets regularly with members from federal, state, and local agencies such as the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, the FBI, the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Tennessee Wildlife and Resources Agency to disseminate information, share intelligence, and coordinate a response to those individuals and entities who threaten our environment by violating federal laws. Some examples of the types of environmental crime cases brought by our office include:
- Wabash National Corporation was convicted of violating the Clean Water Act for its conduct in Scott County. Wabash released over 120,000 gallons of highly caustic sodium hydroxide into a storm sewer that emptied into a tributary of the New River. This resulted in two children suffering chemical burns on their feet and ankles. As a result of its conviction, Wabash was fined $400,000.
- Heraeus Metal Processing, Inc. and Brent Anderson, the plant manager, were convicted of violating the Clean Air Act for falsifying reports that the operation of Heraeus’ air pollution control equipment. Heraeus was fined $350,000 and placed on corporate probation. Anderson was placed on probation for one year and ordered to perform community service.
For more information about national environmental enforcement efforts visit http://www.justice.gov/enrd.
If you have any information regarding a suspected envrionmental crime, please visit the following link: http://www.epa.gov/compliance/complaints/index.html