Thursday, May 15, 2003

Feds Get Serious About McWane

The federal government is targeting the McWane Corporation, "one of the nation's most persistent violators of workplace safety and environmental laws," for possible endictment under federal crmiinal law, according to the NY Times.
The investigation — encompassing McWane's safety and health record as well as its failure to protect the environment — is especially significant because it represents an unusual effort by the federal government to build a case against a major corporation that for years has avoided serious criminal sanctions despite a lengthy record of infractions.

The company has been cited for more than 400 safety violations and 450 environmental violations since 1995. While the company has paid roughly $10 million in fines and penalties, no McWane official has ever gone to jail for these violations. Instead, a disjointed and fragmented regulatory apparatus repeatedly failed to detect, much less end, patterns of misconduct.
The PBS Frontline program on McWane will be repeated tonight on many public television stations. Check your local listings.