Fighting For Your Rights During Environmental Offense Allegations
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has more than mere regulatory power. In addition to its extensive power in business regulations, it also has the power and capacity to investigate and punish those it believes are in violation of those regulations; it even has the ability to prosecute businesses and individuals on a criminal level.
At Hickey & Chung, LLP, our attorneys are dependable, skilled and committed to our clients’ best interests. We take a comprehensive look at your case and ensure that the EPA and prosecutors do not overreach. Our in-depth knowledge of the legal system empowers us to protect you, even in what seems like the worst scenarios. Email us at our office in San Francisco or call us at 415-484-4547.
When The EPA Investigates
The EPA is on high alert for any possible violations of the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and other environmental protection laws. The most common issues involve:
- Air pollutants, like factory emissions
- Water contamination, either by chemical or heavy metal leaks
- Waste dumping, including hazardous waste
- Asbestos removal by unqualified workers or where the asbestos was inappropriately disposed of
- Oil or chemical spills
- Other regulatory violations monitored by the EPA
There are a wide range of issues that the EPA actively investigates, many of which have both civil and criminal consequences. For instance, if the organization suspects a company of improper disposal of chemicals, the company as a whole may be held accountable, but individuals in charge of the organization’s waste management may also face individual consequences. In the most serious cases, they work directly with the Department of Justice to file criminal charges, which can lead to years in prison and thousands or even millions of dollars in fines.
What Evidence May Look Like
EPA investigators are meticulous and will investigate even the smallest of details in pursuit of violations. In addition to a physical investigation, they will sort through emails, process documents, witness statements and more.
The evidence they seek out is often highly technical and may involve highly confidential documents, scientific data and other issues. It can be a challenge to understand both what you do and do not need to hand over to the authorities and what their analysis means.
At Hickey & Chung, LLP, our attorneys are highly experienced. They understand what warrants do and do not require, how to appropriately manage investigators and – most importantly – when and how to say “no.” We work with scientific and forensic experts to put the evidence into context and defend your rights both during investigation and, if need be, during trial.
A Proactive Approach Is Often The Best Approach
The sooner you have adequate and experienced representation, the sooner you put power back in your hands. Do not let the EPA overwhelm you. Instead, call our office and assert your rights: 415-484-4547.