The U.S. government is having a record year collecting big fines from companies. Part of that success comes from a Civil War era law that rewards whistle-blowers for exposing corporate fraud.
Cement Plant Pollution Loophole Shut
Cement plants in Arizona and around the country can no longer get off the hook after releasing toxic chemicals from their plants or kilns, by claiming a malfunction or upset.
A loophole in the law that allowed that has been closed by a federal court.
Attorney Seth Johnson of EarthJustice represented a number of groups in cleaning up cement plant pollution and says the loophole was used frequently.
“Sorry, had an accident; not our fault; we’ll try not let it happen again,” Johnson said. "It happens over and over again.”
Johnson said the Environmental Protection Agency and polluters are now on notice the standards have to be fully enforceable. He said he’s convinced they could still be tougher.
There are cement plants in Clarkdale, Rillito and Paulden, Ariz.