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A horrifying cancer cluster story emphasizes the need for more environmental whistleblowers

Posted  10/8/20
a waste barrel zoomed-in of a sticker saying "HAZARDOUS WASTE"
Mother Jones recently published a harrowing account of a scientific mystery—why did a number of otherwise healthy young women develop a rare eye cancer in the Lake Norman region of North Carolina?  Through a detailed and nuanced portrait of the women, their families, and a regional fight for justice and accountability, the story’s author, Arielle Emmett, makes clear that no government regulator, independent body,...

Natural Disasters Expose the Unnatural Ones Too

Posted  08/28/20
climate change image of world
As the Gulf coast digs out from Hurricane Laura, one particular industry’s history of avoiding government oversight and obligations is going to make recovery a lot worse and much more dangerous.  The stretch of land on either side of the Texas-Louisiana border is full of petrochemical companies large and small.  These companies have successfully lobbied for relief from regulation, all the while taking significant...

Another “Magic Pipe” Down the Drain: Whistleblower Tips Lead to Guilty Plea in Ocean Dumping Case

Posted  03/19/20
M/T Zao Galaxy from DOJ files
Whistleblowers and an alert Coast Guard examiner exposed the illegal ocean-dumping of unfiltered bilge water by Singapore shipping company Unix Line PTE. The company pleaded guilty to violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS) after a conscientious crew member slipped a note reading “magic pipe” and “damage marine environment” to the  examiner inspecting the ship M/T Zao Galaxy.  Another crew...

Top Ten Environmental Fraud Settlements of 2019

Posted  01/17/20
image of trees
Between Greta Thunberg's "Climate Strike" mass protests, the on-going saga over the Dakota Access Pipeline, the hoopla over plant-based diets, and record temperatures and ice melts – the environment was on everyone's mind in 2019.  Whistleblowers can be eligible for financial rewards for reporting environmental violations in a number of different ways, and our review below features many recoveries – including...

Question of the Week: How Badly do you Want to Stop Animal Trafficking?

Posted  01/17/20
image of endangered-species
Last week, the Department of Justice indicted a New York man, Christopher Casacci, for illegally importing and selling dozens of African wild cats.  Doing business as “ExoticCubs.com,” Casacci brought into the United States and sold dozens of caracals (Caracal caracal) and servals (Leptailurus serval). Caracals, known as the “desert lynx,” are wild cats native to Africa, and grow to approximately 45 pounds....

Blowing the Whistle on Environmental Abuse: Investigation of Kanto Kosan for Wastewater Dumping at Naval Bases in Japan

Posted  12/6/19
fleet of navy ships
Earlier this week, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the U.S. Navy’s law enforcement arm, announced that it was investigating contractor Kanto Kosan for allegedly dumping wastewater from warships at harbors in Navy bases in Japan. The investigation was triggered by a tip submitted to Japanese Customs. The FBI and Department of Justice have also joined the investigation. According to the Wall Street...

Catch of the Week — Princess and Carnival Cruise Lines

Posted  06/7/19
plastic waste dumped on ocean beach
Carnival Cruise Lines and subsidiary Princess will pay $20 million in criminal penalties for environmental transgressions and violations of probation. Princess and parent Carnival are just over two years into a five-year probation term that stems from Princess’s April 2017 felony conviction for deliberately dumping oil-contaminated wastewater into the open ocean and then engaging in an intentional coverup of its...

Catch of the Week — Bosch Fined $100 Million Over Volkswagen Diesel Emissions Scandal

Posted  05/23/19
Volkswagen Car Logo with Splatters of Dirt
German prosecutors fined Bosch $100 million for its role in the 2015 Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. The fine was imposed for negligent violation of supervisory obligations resulting from the use of Bosch software to mask illegal pollution levels in diesel-engine vehicles. Bosch, the world’s largest automotive supplier, developed the engine management control software used to provide emissions testers with...

Maryland State Senate Introduces a Bill to Establish a Natural Resources Whistleblower Program

Posted  02/15/19
Hands holding miniaturized tree with wildlife
In a time of increasing concern about climate change and environmental destruction, one state is ramping up efforts to conserve natural resources and encourage everyday citizens to join the fight. Just last week, the Maryland State Senate introduced a bill to establish a Natural Resources Whistleblower Program to assist enforcement activities related to the protection of state parks, water, forests, and land. The...

WATCH THIS SPACE: DOJ and DOE Call Out Lockheed Martin for Self-Dealing at Hanford Plutonium Site

Posted  02/15/19
Worker in HazMat suit standing in front of pile of barrels in rain
The nation’s largest toxic cleanup site has suffered another setback, this time not in the cleanup itself but in alleged self-dealing, corruption, kickbacks, and lies, costing taxpayers over $60M, according to a complaint filed by DOJ against Mission Support Alliance, Lockheed Martin Services (and a subsidiary), and Jorge Francisco Armijo. The Hanford Nuclear Site in central Washington state made plutonium for...
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