In 1998, the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA), the California District Attorneys Association (CDAA), the Department of Fish & Game, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency established the Environmental Circuit Prosecutor Project (ECPP) to fill a gap in the enforcement of water, air, and other environmental laws in rural counties in California. The ECPP provides environmental prosecutors to counties that lack the expertise and resources to prosecute environmental crimes. Penal Code section 14300 codified the Environmental Circuit Prosecutor Project as a cooperative effort of the CDAA and CalEPA.
Circuit prosecutors are employed by CDAA but are deputized by the elected District Attorney in each county where they work. Funding is provided by various sources including CalEPA and the Penal Code 14300 account.
Project Benefits to California
- Rural areas become less attractive to environmentally related
- Citizens of rural counties enjoy the protection from environmental
crimes as do urbanized counties.
- Local prosecution efforts encourage fair and uniform enforcement of
environmental laws throughout the state.
- Businesses and other regulated entities gain a level playing field
in both rural and urbanized counties.