The text discusses at length the bland concepts of law at all levels and forms, from Constitutional law down to civil and criminal procedure codes. That ignores the reality of the agencies taking action based on their statutory and regulatory powers and the results of their actions.
To see the reality of the enforcement action and power of the Environmental Protection Agency, look at the thousands of actions taken by the EPA across the United States just in 2018:
If you choose to zoom in on more specific enforcement south Florida, you will find enforcement actions in our own backyard (so to speak).
Gulfstream Park Racing Association, Inc. Clean Water Act Settlement
There are countless other civil enforcement actions:
Additionally, due to the sensitivity of the environment in Florida, there are continuous licensing, monitoring, and investigation processes ongoing (just a few):
At least one business you will recognize had issues:
Just as importantly, criminal enforcement (prosecution) actions (the EPA is behind in posting date, here is 2017):
Here, again, at least one business you are likely to know has been prosecuted for environmental violations:
The civil enforcement actions generally resulted in civil penalties and costs required to resolve or restore the harm done (if possible). These fines go into the general treasury of the United States and reimburse the government and include a profit motive for the enforcing agencies to be efficient and effective in their choice of targets for enforcement.
A criminal action out of the Florida Keys shows that a contractor violated coastal environmental protection laws with unpermitted building in waterways:
That case actually resulted in a conviction with probation and fines.
For this first substantive assignment of the course, please review the information provided in the text about the history, purpose, and laws of environmental use and protection and combine with the information provided by the links listed above.
With that information in hand, analyze the merit of using criminal and/or civil law enforcement powers to regulate environmental use and protection.
Consider the costs and benefits of prosecution in a criminal case with less-intensive enforcement efforts of civil law enforcement and the societal issues of each. Although the harms done in the civil actions may be much greater than the harms done by the parties in criminal action – only one of the cases used criminal powers. Why?
Using APA format, draft and submit an essay that articulates the difference between criminal and civil enforcement of environmental laws and regulations. Your analysis should consider the actions (or inactions) of the parties, the environmental issues involved, the harm done by these parties, and the objectives of the EPA in carrying out these enforcement actions.