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Biden Administration Announces New first-of-its-kind Program for ‘Environmental Crime Victims’

By Susan Jones

( – “Victims of environmental crimes…have received insufficient support for too long,” Acting Associate Attorney General Matthew Colangelo said this week, as the Biden Justice Department and Environmental Protection Agency announced a new program to “seek justice for all of these victims.”

“The Department of Justice and EPA are pleased to formally announce the creation of the nation’s first-of-its-kind Environmental Crime Victim Assistance Program,” Colangelo said in a speech in Washington.

Colangelo said the program was created after “several years of outreach” and examination of “on-the-ground needs and barriers to upholding rights and accessing services.”

“We listened and learned from victims, from victims’ rights professionals and from those working on environmental crimes investigations and prosecutions,” he said.

According to Colangelo:

The program will help ensure that victims of federal environmental crimes are properly identified, that their rights are protected, and that they receive services from the opening of an investigation through the prosecution of the case.

Both agencies will have the infrastructure to ensure we meet our obligations to victims through the creation of victim-witness coordinator positions, specialized training and job aides, and outreach to victims and victims’ rights professionals.