Search

Polluters in Viral Boating Video Charged with Felony

Posted on 5/7/2024 by Lion Technology Inc.

The Clean Water Act can be difficult to interpret and even harder to apply in real-world situations. 

Noncompliance with Federal water laws can easily occur because your facility overlooked a deeply buried requirement or misinterpreted a complicated rule. Violations that result from an overt, intentional criminal act are relatively rare. 

That said—when a person does intentionally or “knowingly” violate the law, EPA and the Department of Justice can (and do) assess stiff criminal penalties. 

This week, two teenagers in the southeast US are learning the hard way about the consequences of environmental violations. The two were filmed dumping trash from a boat deck into the ocean. 

Polluters in Viral Boating Video Charged with Felony


The video spread widely on social media and appeared on several news broadcasts. The video is not included here because the people in it are juveniles. Two people took responsibility for the act and turned themselves in to authorities. 

The Miami Herald reported: 

Both teens were arrested on a third degree felony charge for causing pollution “so as to harm or injure human health or welfare, animal, plant or aquatic life or property,” according to their arrest reports, which the Herald obtained through a public record request. This charge comes with a fine of up to $50,000 or up to 5 years in jail, or both.

The kids will face long odds if the case goes to trial. EPA’s criminal enforcement program achieved a 100% conviction rate of defendants in FY 2023, according to the agency's annual summary of enforcement results. In the two previous years, the conviction rate was 96% (2021) and 94% (2022). 

Sentences for those convicted in FY 2023 add up to 106 years behind bars and more than $1 billion in penalties, restitution, and forfeited proceeds.

Because they are teenagers, the boaters charged in the viral video incident may avoid the maximum penalty from their ill-conceived actions. The experience will hopefully give the young people a greater respect for the environment, or at least for the laws that protect it.  

Tags: Clean Water Act

Find a Post

Compliance Archives

Lion - Quotes

Lion Technology workshops are amazing!! You always learn so much, and the instructors are fantastic.

Dorothy Rurak

Environmental Specialist

Lion was very responsive to my initial questions and the website was user friendly.

Michael Britt

Supply Chain Director

Lion's training was by far the best online RCRA training I've ever taken. It was challenging and the layout was great!

Paul Harbison

Hazardous Waste Professional

Lion provided an excellent introduction to environmental regulations, making the transition to a new career as an EHS specialist less daunting of a task. Drinking from a fire hose when the flow of water is lessened, is much more enjoyable!

Stephanie Weathers

SHE Specialist

These are the best classes I attend each year. I always take something away and implement improvements at my sites.

Kim Racine

EH&S Manager

I like Lion's workshops the best because they really dig into the information you need to have when you leave the workshop.

Tom Bush, Jr.

EHS Manager

The instructor's energy, enthusiasm, and knowledge of the subject make the class a great learning experience!

Brian Martinez

Warehouse Operator

If I need thorough training or updating, I always use Lion. Lion is always the best in both instruction and materials.

Bryce Parker

EHS Manager

As always, Lion never disappoints

Paul Resley

Environmental Coordinator

The instructor was very engaging and helped less experienced people understand the concepts.

Steve Gall

Safety Leader

Download Our Latest Whitepaper

Decrease spill, release, and injury risk and increase savings with these "source reduction" strategies to prevent unused chemicals from becoming regulated as hazardous waste.

Latest Whitepaper

By submitting your phone number, you agree to receive recurring marketing and training text messages. Consent to receive text messages is not required for any purchases. Text STOP at any time to cancel. Message and data rates may apply. View our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.