Environmental Criminal Enforcement Conference
Location: South Hall room 1225
This event is free and open to the public.
WELCOME TO THE SIXTH ENVIRONMENTAL CONFERENCE presented by Michigan Law’s Environmental Law and Policy Program, co-sponsored by the Environmental Law Society and the Michigan Journal of Environmental and Administrative Law. Our focus is environmental criminal enforcement, a field that can be traced to remarks by Attorney General Benjamin Civiletti when he served as the Michigan Law Senior Day speaker in May 1980. During his remarks, Attorney General Civiletti announced that “I intend to increase the pace of both civil and criminal enforcement” of the environmental laws that were enacted during the 1970s.
In 1982, just two years after Attorney General Civiletti spoke at the law school, the Justice Department formed a five-attorney environmental crimes unit in its pollution control section. Five years later, in 1987, the Justice Department created the environmental crimes section with 13 attorneys. Today, there are more than 40 prosecutors in the environmental crimes section, and environmental crime is now the largest category of corporate criminal prosecution.
We are delighted to commemorate the 30-year history of the environmental crimes section by hosting for our keynote session a panel discussion with the chiefs of the environmental crimes section from 1987-2017. Their discussion will provide an overview of criminal enforcement under the environmental laws–from the Exxon Valdez, Colonial Pipeline, and Koch Petroleum to the Gulf oil spill, Volkswagen, and Lumber Liquidators–and discuss how the field has evolved over the last three decades.