October 24, 2013. Criminal liability for environmental violations serves as a constant reminder for not only corporations, but for individuals working for a company, to avoid such risks. For instance, §1319(c) of the Federal Clean Water Act provides penalties for dischargers or individuals who violate certain requirements of the CWA concerning municipal wastewater treatment facilities. §1319(c)(3)(A) of the CWA provides that "Any person who knowingly violates [various sections of the CWA]... or any permit condition or limitation... and who knows at that time that he thereby places another person in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury ... [commits a felony punishable by up to 15 years imprisonment]. Legislative history behind the Act reveals that Congress intended that an individual merely have knowledge of an action which "causes" a permit violation in order to be subject to criminal sanctions. United States v. Weitzenboff, 1 F.3d 1523 (9th Cir. 1993), amended on denial of rehg and rehg en banc, 35 F.3d 1275 (9th Cir. 1994), cert. denied, 115 S. Ct. 939 (1995). (quoting S. REP. No. 50, supra note 37, at 29). The CWA is not unique by imposing criminal liability on individuals for unlawful acts. The business community and employees must be educated and forewarned about such liability to make sure steps are taken to ensure compliance with environmental laws and regulations consistently occurs. Email info@goosmannlaw.com or call 712.226.4000 for help ensuring that your business is in compliance.

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