The mistakes of one individual can result in an environmental charge against an entire company.
An environmental law attorney can defend you and your company against these charges.
Paul Doyle has successfully defended residents of Houston, TX, against environmental charges for over 10 years.
Common Environmental Crimes
The most common type of environmental crime prosecuted at the Texas state level is illegal dumping. Other types of environmental crimes are:
- Illegal logging
- Illegal fishing
- Air quality violations
- Safety violations involving oil spills
- Toxic or hazardous waste disposal
- Water contamination violations
- Water drainage violations
- Improper storage of chemicals
- Chemical dumping
Environmental Law Doesn't Account for Intent
Many people are criminally charged for an environmental legal offense without knowledge or intent. This is because, unlike most areas of criminal law, individuals can be prosecuted due to their negligent behavior rather than intentional or knowing behavior.
Common Violation Scenarios
The environmental crimes listed above can play out in many different ways. Here are a few examples of environmental act violations that Paul commonly sees from his Houston, TX, clients.
Clean Air Act Scenario
The owner of office space solicits bids for old tiles from the building. Two bidders determine that the tiles contain dangerous asbestos fibers and raise their bid to accommodate the costs of adhering to the act. In doing the removal, they must follow the federal standards that apply to asbestos removal. The third bidder proposes to save the owner money by removing the tiles without following the federal standards. The owner hires the third bidder for this reason, so the work is done without following federal standards. The manager is criminally liable for a violation of the Clean Air Act.
Clean Water Act Scenario
A manager at a production company directs employees to bypass the facility’s wastewater treatment unit in order to save money and avoid having to purchase the chemicals necessary to run the wastewater treatment unit. The company then sends untreated wastewater directly to the sewer system in violation of the permit issued by the municipal sewer authority. The manager is criminally liable for a violation of the Clean Water Act.
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Scenario
In order to save money for proper treatment of its hazardous waste, the owner of a company places the hazardous waste into its dumpster for disposal at a local municipal landfill that is not authorized to receive hazardous waste. The owner is criminally liable for a violation of the RCRA.
Early Action is Vital for Case Success
Prosecutors have enormous discretion in whether or not to bring charges. Because of the government’s discretion in choosing between civil and criminal remedies, it is crucial to hire an experienced environmental criminal lawyer early. As your lawyer, Paul Doyle can persuade agencies and prosecutors to withhold criminal charges.
Is Your Company Under an EPA Investigation?
Request a Free Consultation
If you are currently being investigated or charged with an environmental violation, you need an attorney to help defend you.
As a lawyer, Paul Doyle has worked with numerous companies and individuals in Houston, TX, under EPA investigation that only initially include civil liabilities and avoid the threat of possible criminal charges. He's able to make sense of the many complex environmental statutes and guide you through the civil and regulatory investigative procedures that accompany a criminal environmental investigation.
Paul Doyle is a lawyer who will fight to protect you or your company from charges. He has your best interest in mind from the onset of the investigation and, if necessary, to the end of the trial. Request a free consultation with our Houston, TX, firm by contacting us at:
5-Star Reviews From Houston, TX, Clients
"Paul Doyle and Associates are extremely professional and always willing to help. They helped my father and I through a case and although the case was very daunting, they worked with us and made sure we got through it unscathed. I am very grateful for their excellent hard work that got us the result we wanted. Cant recommend them enough!"
— Aqib Choudhry, 2021 5-Star Review
Environmental Charges Can Mean More Than Just a Fine
Violations of federal environmental laws can result not only in civil fines but also in felony criminal convictions. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other federal and state agencies are more and more often pursuing criminal charges against both business entities and the individuals employed by them.
Federal Statutes Can Mean More Than Just a Fine
Dozens of statutes define environmental criminal offenses and cover virtually all industries potentially impacting the environment. The most commonly used federal statutes are:
- The Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA)
- The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA)
- The Clean Water Act (CWA)
- The Refuse Act
- The Clean Air Act (CAA)
Texas State Statutes Against Environmental Crimes
In addition to the federal statutes above, states have their own environmental laws. As a lawyer, Paul is aware that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) codes can also impact the environmental charges brought against you. You'll need an attorney who's well-versed on various state statutes, such as:
- The Texas Water Code
- The Texas Health and Safety Code
"Above and Beyond" More 5-Star Reviews from Houston, TX, Clients
“Paul and his team went above and beyond in their representation of me. I applaud Paul for his professionalism and integrity. He was able to see through the lies and politics, and made sure the D.A understood the truth in regards to my case. I urge all of you to call Paul before hiring an attorney. You will not be disappointed. To this day I can text Paul and get a response within an hour. Truly a man of high character.” KINCAIDE, 2021 5-Star Review