Chief Investigator: Michael Charland
Addressing assaults against the public well-being and ensuring a fair
operating climate for the majority who comply with the law.
The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation has primary responsibility for the enforcement of laws governing the protection of water, land and air quality. Normally these laws are enforced by the regulatory staff through administrative or civil remedies. However, when polluting or environmentally harmful conduct becomes intentional, knowing, or reckless, criminal enforcement must be considered. In addition to threatening the quality of Alaska's environment, nearly all environmental crimes involve a risk to public health, now or in the future.
What Is An Environmental Crime?
An environmental crime is an environmental violation for which the State Legislature and/or the U.S. Congress have provided criminal sanctions. Because these individuals or companies consciously decide to violate the law, or act in such a negligent manner that their behavior results in serious harm, the criminal sanctions include prison time and/or criminal fines. Environmental criminal investigations involve violations of both state and federal environmental laws and regulations, which includes the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, Oil Pollution and Hazardous Substances, Medical Waste, and Food Safety. Environmental crimes are crimes of profit that are generally committed by individuals or companies in an attempt to gain an unfair economic advantage. Examples of environmental crimes include: the illegal discharge of pollutants into Alaska's water sources; the improper disposal of solid or hazardous waste; illegal discharge of pollutants into the atmosphere, fraud and the falsification of environmental documentation.
The Environmental Crimes Unit (ECU) has statewide responsibility for the investigation and prosecution of the most egregious violations of environmental law. ECU's criminal investigators are commissioned peace officers and the ECU prosecutor is an Assistant Attorney General who is also cross designated as an Assistant U.S. Attorney. In addition to criminal investigations, the ECU has a civil investigator who provides investigative support for cases referred from ADEC to the Civil Environmental Section of the Department of Law. ECU is a partner in the Alaska Environmental Crimes Taskforce and works closely with other state and federal law enforcement agencies to protect Alaska's environment.
Where Do I Report Environmental Crimes?IF YOU HAVE INFORMATION CONCERNING CRIMINAL ACTIVITY, PLEASE CALL THE ENVIRONMENTAL CRIMES UNIT AT: 907-269-7567 / 907-451-5157
For more information, please contact:
Michael Charland, Chief Investigator
Environmental Crimes Unit
Dept. of Environmental Conservation
Anchorage, AK 99501
Office: (907) 269-7567
Fax: (907) 269-7687