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Sunday September 20th, 2020 6:51AM

EPA pollution cases sent to prosecutors hits 30-year low

By The Associated Press
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Government figures show the Environmental Protection Agency has hit a 30-year low in the number of pollution cases referred for criminal prosecution.

Justice Department data released Tuesday by the nonprofit Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility and obtained by The Associated Press show the EPA referred 166 cases for federal prosecution in fiscal year 2018 under the Trump administration.

That's down from 228 in 2016, the last year of the Obama administration.

The figure under President Donald Trump is the lowest since 1988, when Ronald Reagan was president and 151 cases were referred to prosecutors.

The EPA says its resources are concentrated on the "most significant and impactful" cases.

PEER executive director Jeff Ruch says EPA enforcement has almost reached a level where it is "lacking a pulse."

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