Monday, April 06, 2009

Things That Make You Go Hmmm

This article in today's NY Times caused me to blink, several times, in fact. It seems that the Environmental Protection Agency has a "Wanted" program, one with a web page and mug shots, designed to catch fugitives wanted for environmental crimes.

The E.P.A.’s list, complete with mug shots of the fugitives, was established in December to try to draw attention to serious environmental crimes.

“We take them seriously, and there are serious consequences,” said Doug Parker, deputy director of the agency’s criminal investigation division. ...

The list includes two men charged with smuggling ozone-destroying coolants, who are believed to have fled to Syria; a man charged in Illinois with building a secret pipeline to funnel pollutants into a tributary of the Mississippi River; and a man, believed to be in Greece, indicted on charges of dumping contaminated grain into the ocean.

The list also includes a woman who is wanted for fraud for operating a "training program" for asbestos removal jobs in which the required certification test was pre-filled out and scored for each trainee. No training went on, but workers got their certificates and then were hired by another of the woman's companies to do the asbestos removal.

Now, these are clearly environmental crimes and should be prosecuted. I have no objection to that, but the emphasis strikes me as a bit skewed. These are individuals with rather limited reach in the grand scheme of things. For these people there is a web site and extensive contacts with national and international police forces.

The big polluters and environmental malefactors, the mining companies who shave off the top of mountains and leave behind dangerous tailings and the manufacturers whose processes foul the air and the ground water, don't seem to have a page on the EPA web site. While I'm sure the EPA is going after those companies (well, pretty sure), this sudden burst of energy in going after the penny-ante crooks seems a bit like over-kill.

I guess it's hard to come up with a decent mug shot of corporate headquarters.

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Blogger Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar/ Helluvafella!) said...

Amendment 28.

Google Riki Ott...

would repeal corporate 'personhood.'

6:08 AM  

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