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Monday, October 23, 2006

No Federal Prosecutions for Environmental Crime in Houston

Houston, unlike other cities such as Los Angeles, and despite being one of the most polluted and petroleum-industry-heavy cities in the United States, has no full-time environmental prosecutor.

Despite environmental groups' complaints about pollution, 2005 was the first fiscal year since 1992 without at least one new federal environmental prosecution here.

This is absurd, especially given numerous proven air quality violations. I wish, however, that the article had some numbers on civil lawsuits filed:

The criminal cases are so hard to prove that many jurisdictions file lawsuits instead. Criminal cases require proof that someone meant to break the law, but civil cases often require only proof that a violation occurred.

I'm James Sulak, a software developer in Houston, Texas.

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