Report: Criminal Charges Likely Over Oil Spill

Environmental law experts tell McClatchy it’s likely the Justice Department will ultimately bring criminal charges against the companies involved in the oil spill, potentially under the Clean Water and Air Acts.

McClatchy reports:

While Attorney General Eric Holder has confirmed that Justice Department lawyers are helping the agencies involved in the oil spill inquiry with legal questions, department officials have refused to detail what their role entails.

But [Former DOJ environmental crimes section chief David] Uhlmann and other experts said it’s likely prosecutors are already poring over evidence from the spill because under the Clean Water and Air Acts and other federal laws aimed at protecting migratory birds, an accidental oil spill of this magnitude could at least result in misdemeanor negligence charges.

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