U.S. Attorney’s Office Encourages Reporting of Environmental Crimes

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FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Department of Justice Building is pictured

PORTLAND, Ore.—Today, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon joins its partners at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other federal regulatory agencies in encouraging Oregonians to report all known or suspected environmental crimes.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon enforces federal laws to protect environmental quality, human health, and wildlife throughout the State of Oregon. The office works with its partners throughout the Department of Justice to hold those who violate environmental law accountable, prioritizing cases that will reduce environmental harms to historically underserved, overburdened, and marginalized communities.

The district’s environmental crimes and justice coordinators lead efforts to enforce both criminal and civil environmental laws. Intentionally violating environmental laws—including, but not limited to, the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and hazardous waste laws—is a federal crime and can be punishable by incarceration or monetary fines.

Examples of criminal or civil environmental violations include:

  • A landlord who leases a home without disclosing known information about lead-based paint
  • A federal contractor who violates a contractual provision mandating the proper disposal of hazardous waste
  • Illegal asbestos removals that expose and create health risks for workers and the public
  • Illegal handling, transportation, and disposal of hazardous wastes or pesticides
  • Oil spills or other incidents that compromise the fishing rights or practices of indigenous or disadvantaged communities
  • Air emissions of toxic pollutants resulting from inadequate or nonexistent pollution control
  • False statements to the EPA or other regulatory agencies that threaten the integrity of environmental protection programs
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If you are in danger, please call 911.

If you or someone you know believe you are the victim of an environmental crime or believe you have witnessed an environmental crime, please contact the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Response Center by calling 1-800-424-8802 or by submitting a tip online at https://echo.epa.gov/report-environmental-violations.

In May 2022, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland announced a series of actions to secure environmental justice for all Americans. In addition to launching a new Office of Environmental Justice within the Justice Department, Attorney General Garland also announced a new comprehensive environmental justice enforcement strategy to guide the Justice Department’s work and issued an Interim Final Rule that will restore the use of supplemental environmental projects in appropriate circumstances.