Environmental law: intensive scheme linked with harsh penalties

Texas business principals know as well as their peers in any other state the vast nature of environmental regulatory laws and the punishing exactions that can be visited upon alleged offenders.

The state is an obvious focus for enforcers with oversight in that singular legal realm. Texas is the largest state by far in the continental United States. The topography of the Lone Star State is dramatically diverse, with features ranging from expansive plains to mountainous regions. The state’s waterways are extensive. Texas’ geography allows for activities ranging from hunting, fishing and ranching to agricultural pursuits, mining, oil/gas operations and more.

That sheer range of land use makes Texas a magnet for environmental inspectors, who have broad powers when exercising their mandate to identify and take legal action against parties accused of violating relevant laws.

There is no scarcity of those, a point we duly note on our website at the long-established Houston criminal defense firm of Hilder & Associates, P.C. We spotlight therein the “complex web of federal and state laws” that regulators readily access to highlight alleged offenses and punish violators. We stress that there are “layers of exposure to criminal liability.”

Some offenses are misdemeanors, but others are deemed felonies that can yield serious prison time and many millions of dollars in fines. In fact, the federal Clean Water Act provides for a separate criminal penalty to be tacked on every single day for which a cited violation is not remedied.

Moreover, many federal and state regulatory enactments provide for strict liability, meaning that an individual or business faces criminal sanctions even absent fault or any intent to commit wrongdoing.

Environmental law is centrally marked by a maze of constantly evolving rules and standards. Questions or concerns regarding this complex area of law can be directed to attorneys from a law firm with a proven record of strong advocacy defending clients against indictments and prosecutions.

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