Environmental regulation is an important and challenging responsibility for the government. Environment fraud occurs when any of the many environmental statutes and regulations are intentionally violated. Environmental fraud is difficult and often prohibitively expensive for the government to detect. The government enforcement units responsible for environmental protection and uncovering environmental fraud are often underfunded and understaffed. Environmental whistleblower laws are federal and state laws designed to encourage employees to report the improper, unsafe, or potentially illegal practices of their employers that negatively affect the environment. Seven major laws protect environmental whistleblowers who expose corporate violations of environmental regulations: the Clean Air Act, the Toxic Substances Act, the Clean Water Act, the Atomic Energy Act, the Solid Waste Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and the Superfund Act. Each of these statutes has provisions that protect environmental whistleblowers from employer retaliation when an employee reports violations of environmental laws and regulations, or assists the government in a proceeding under one of these laws or regulations.
False Claims Act liability can arise when a contractor falsely certifies compliance with required environmental laws and regulations related to a specific project, deliberately overcharges the government for hazardous and toxic waste clean up, gets paid for work that the contractor did not perform, or provides services that do not meet government specifications.
If you have, or think you have, witnessed a fraud with regard to contractor compliance with environmental regulations and/or contract, contact Michael S. Bigin or Laurence J. Hasson to discuss the possibility of bringing a lawsuit on behalf of the government to recover damages for the contractor’s improper conduct.