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Environmental Law and American Business: Dilemmas of by Joseph F. DiMento

By Joseph F. DiMento

We are within the moment decade of modem environmental legislations. through a few symptoms this physique of law has matured enormously. we will element to statutes and codes on the federal, country, and native degrees which deal with virtually each possible kind of pollutants and environmental insult. but, regardless of the lifestyles of this huge physique of legislation, regardless of massive charges on enforcement, and regardless of the lively efforts of individuals sympathetic to environmental targets, violations are a variety of. severe toxins difficulties are regular. Love Canal, the Valley of the Drums, instances seashore, and Stringfellow Acid Pits epitomize the nationwide environmental caliber problem. day-by-day, an incredible unlawful disposal of haz­ ardous waste is recorded; a brand new mismanaged unload web site is chanced on; a poisonous substance is located in our consuming water; or a failure to satisfy a water or air caliber usual is pointed out. a lot of those violations contain American enterprise. mess ups to conform are of a number of forms. A small businessman in Pennsylvania mistakenly permits a spillover of a pollutant right into a safe flow. An industrialist within the Midwest provides to his fortune by way of illegally dumping harmful chemical compounds. a chain of mistakes by way of a number of organisations, a few of which now not exist, mix to create a health and wellbeing­ threatening conflagration at the West Coast. An vehicle corporation translates one of many virtually innumerable pollution ideas in a different way from executive: It produces a vehicle which the govt. says fails to conform with the fresh Air Act.

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43 Exxon was involved in a controversy in 1984 which did not go to trial and which is difficult to classify in a noncompliance typology. The company had been shipping millions of gallons of freshwater from the Hudson River to, among other sites, a Caribbean island. Company ships would enter the Hudson, unload salt water, take on fresh water and carry their new cargo to overseas process operations. Outraged environmental groups sought to litigate. Although the nature ofthe violation was not clear, Exxon agreed to stop and paid $500,000 to the Hudson River Fisherman's Association and the Open Space Institute.

Frezzo Brothers. S. " Hearings before Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, May 28, 1981, at 33. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1981. The New York Times, July 18, 1983, at A6, cols. 1-4; The Wall Street Journal, July 8, 1983, at A8, col. 6; Los Angeles Times, Apr. 25, 1984. 22 CHAPTER 2 The variety of environmental violations by American industry is striking. Cases have involved almost every conceivable deficiency in a production, disposal, o~ transportation process. 9 receiving substances not permitted for a site,2° deliberately failing to report to government authorities, and destroying test results.

EPA. 56. 61 MUSHROOMS AND MERCURIES: CASES OF NONCOMPLIANCE 17 of vehicles did not comply. 1° The company also attacked the government's statistical sampling approach. Chrysler made its case before the AU, before the new EPA administrator, Douglas Costle, and in the federal courts. l Chrysler claimed that the case, like many suits brought by the EPA during the Carter administration, demonstrated an unbalanced environmental policy. One frustrated company spokesman summarized the company's position: In the whole Clean Air Act what's written is that we've got to protect, not only healthy people, but the asthmatics and so on.

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