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Environmental Fraud

This archive displays posts tagged as relevant to fraud in environmental programs and policies. You may also be interested in the following pages:

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Top Ten Environmental Fraud Settlements for 2020

Posted  03/12/21
Clear Light Buld Placed Over a Plant
In many ways, the COVID-19 pandemic uprooted our routines and put life on pause in 2020. But environmental fraud continued unabated, and so did enforcement actions against the perpetrators. We saw two major enforcement actions relating to devices designed to evade emissions requirements, several enforcement actions relating to water contamination and the knowing sale of products containing harmful pollutants, and...

The False Claims Act: It Benefits More than Just the Government

Posted  03/5/21
statue of Abraham Lincoln
The False Claims Act, a Civil War-era law, encourages private individuals, such as whistleblowers, to come forward and file suit against unscrupulous government contractors, and share in the government's recovery. The passage of the law was inspired by contractors selling the Union Army bags of sand as flour, lame mules as cavalry horses, and glued-together rags as uniforms. The main purpose of the law is, of...

Catches of the Week: Contractors Abroad Face Liability for Fraud in U.S. Government Contracts

Posted  02/19/21
fleet of navy ships
This week, we double up on the Catch of the Week, and highlight two actions involving foreign contractors doing business with the U.S. Navy.

French Concrete Contractor Pays $14.5 Million to Resolve Claims of Delivering Substandard Concrete for U.S. Navy Bases in Africa

In the first case, Colas Djibouti, a subsidiary of French contractor Colas, agreed to pay $12.5m to the U.S. government to settle criminal charges,...

February 3, 2021

In a settlement valued at $4.1 million, Schnitzer Steel Industries will pay penalties and costs, undertake supplemental environmental projects, and make significant improvements to its processes to resolve claims that it violated environmental laws at its Oakland, California metal shredding and recycling facility, including through the release of particulate matter contaminated with hazardous metals such as lead, cadmium, and zinc.  CA

January 29, 2021

Medical waste processing company Stericycle Inc. will pay $600,000 to resolve allegations that it violated the Clean Air Act and state regulations at its medical waste incinerator in North Salt Lake, Utah, by operating the facility in a manner that generated nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions that exceeded regulatory limits, as well as failing to properly conduct stack tests and comply with reporting requirements.  In addition to the civil monetary penalty, Stericycle will undertake a Supplemental Environmental Project and spend at least $2 million to purchase 20 low-emitting school buses for a local school district. DOJ

January 19, 2021

Portable fuel container manufacturer Midwest Can Company will pay a $1.7 million fine to resolve claims that its products failed to meet regulatory standards, resulting in the emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).  The company was alleged to have concealed test results showing the failure to meet regulatory standards when it applied for a certificate of conformity from the EPA.  DOJ; USAO ND IL

January 19, 2021

U.S. Magnesium will pay a civil penalty of $250,000 and undertake at least $37 million in modifications and upgrades to its Rowley, Utah facility to reduce the volume and toxicity of waste generated at the facility, treat all wastewater, and prevent leaks from the facility to the Great Salt Lake.  EPA

January 14, 2021

Toyota Motor Company and its affiliates have agreed to pay a $180 million penalty and undertake compliance efforts to resolve civil claims of violations of the Clean Air Act.  In a consent judgment, Toyota admitted that between 2005 and 2015, it failed to timely submit required reports regarding defects in emissions control systems and recalls to repair emissions systems defects, and failed to even implement systems designed to determine whether such reports were required, despite objections from Toyota staff.  As a result, Toyota avoided disclosure of emission systems defects.  DOJ

December 21, 2020

Government contractor Schneider Electric Buildings Americas Inc. will pay a total of $11 million to resolve criminal and civil claims that it overcharged the government on eight separate energy savings performance contracts under which the company was to install energy upgrades including solar panels, LED lighting, and insulation, in federal buildings.  The company admitted to wrongdoing including the disguising of unauthorized design costs by charging them to unrelated contract components and the receipt of kickbacks from subcontractors on the ESPCs. $9.3 million of the settlement resolves civil liability under the False Claims Act and Anti-Kickback Act; $1.7 million is denominated as criminal forfeiture.  DOJ

December 17, 2020

Retailer Home Depot U.S.A. Inc., which hires contractors to perform home renovations for Home Depot customers across the country, will pay $20.75 million as a penalty under the Toxic Substances Control Act to resolve allegations that the company failed to ensure that those contractors took adhered to lead paint safety requirements.  In addition to the penalty, Home Depot agreed in a consent decree to implement a compliance program to ensure that the firms and contractors it hires to perform work are certified and trained to use lead-safe work practices to avoid spreading lead dust and paint chips during home renovation activities.  DOJ
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