Tiny Delaware is getting tough on crime — environmental crime, that is. Gov. Ruth Ann Minner (D) and several state legislators want corporate leaders to sign annual sworn statements declaring that their companies are complying with environmental laws; if a company is then found to be in serious violation of such laws, its top management could face criminal charges. The proposal, which will be included in bills to be introduced to the General Assembly later this month, is part of a larger statewide effort to crack down on companies that repeatedly or intentionally violate anti-pollution laws. If it passes, company leaders found guilty could face up to eight years in prison. Said Minner, “Companies will no longer be able to say, ‘We’ll just pay a fine and go on with what we’ve been doing.’ This will increase the personal level of responsibility for polluting the environment.”

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