"Criminal enforcement of federal water-pollution laws has continued a more than decadelong slide under the Obama administration, despite pledged improvements, according to U.S. EPA data.
The government reported 32 new Clean Water Act convictions during the fiscal year that ended in September, down from 42 in 2009. The number of criminal water pollution cases initiated by the agency fell from 28 last year to 21 this year.
Both figures have dropped nearly 60 percent since the late 1990s, their highest points in the past 20 years.
The numbers indicate that the Obama administration so far has been unable to reverse a trend that started under President George W. Bush, when EPA criminal enforcement activity dropped in conjunction with a 27 percent cut to U.S. EPA's overall budget, said William Andreen, an environmental law professor at the University of Alabama."