Since the 1960s, pollution has been recognized as a major
threat to the health and welfare of the people and,
indeed, to the ecological balance of the earth.
Legislatures have found it necessary to impose criminal
sanctions to effectively enforce standards and to deter
In contrast to the typical common-law crimes,
environmental crimes often involves an offender’s neglect
to comply with required standards or failure to take action
required by law.
Statutes criminalizing conduct in these areas generally
contemplate a lower level of intent, frequently imposing a
standard of strict liability.