Our natural resources, energy resources, and wildlife are subject to numerous laws and government programs that can give rise to fraudulent activity.
While the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other federal and state agencies can impose fines or seek damages from polluters and others under a number of different laws, the environmental laws do not generally provide financial rewards for whistleblowers who report violations.
However, whistleblowers can be eligible for financial rewards in a number of different ways, including when they report:
Misrepresentations about the amount of oil, gas, or other natural resources extracted from public lands in order to fraudulently underpay royalties to the government. The underpayment of royalties can be a violation of the False Claims Act.
False representations made to avoid paying environmental fines.
Overcharges to the government and other contract fraud on environmental cleanup projects. Where a contract with the government is in place, a whistleblower may be able to bring a False Claims Act action.
False representations of compliance by government contractors who failed to adhere to material environmental regulations or contract requirements.
Misrepresentations and omissions by securities issuers regarding material risks arising from environmental liabilities, climate change, and sustainability issues, as well as misrepresentations and omissions by investment advisors and funds regarding ESG strategies, referring to the environmental and other criteria used by investors to screen potential investments. Such misrepresentations can violate securities laws and give rise to an action by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which has created an enforcement task force regarding climate and ESG-related disclosures.
An experienced whistleblower attorney can help you determine if the information you have about environmental violations could give rise to a claim under a whistleblower reward statute. Without insiders and whistleblowers exposing environmental wrongdoing, damage might go undetected. If you would like more information, or would like to speak to a member of the Constantine Cannon’s whistleblower lawyer team, please Contact us for a Confidential Consultation.