AG Biden goes after chronic polluters
March 7, 2011By Mark Eichmann
Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden is pushing for harsher fines for companies who make a habit of polluting Delaware's air, water and soil.
Biden unveiled the legislation this afternoon in his office alongside State Senator David McBride (D-Hawk's Nest) and State Representative Quinn Johnson (D-Middletown). Biden says, "This legislation will be strong motivation for polluters to clean up their operations and follow the law."
The bill, which is expected to be introduced by McBride next week, will clarify the definition of a "chronic polluter" to include companies that treat environmental penalties as a cost of doing business. "Too often some folks out there in the industries view paying a fine as a cost of doing business. That's not what laws are about. Laws are to be followed, not to be kind of gamed," Biden said. Under the bill, companies that do not use "recognized and generally accepted" procedures to comply with the state's environmental laws could be declared a chronic violator.
The measure would also increase the maximum fine for polluters. Currently, the maximum daily fine is $10,000. This legislation would increase the maximum to $10,000 for "each separate release of each identifiable pollutant per day."