From our offices in the Detroit area, Akeel & Valentine, PLC serves clients nationwide.

From our offices in the Detroit area, Akeel & Valentine, PLC serves clients nationwide.

Whistleblowing on companies violating environmental regulations

On Behalf of | Jul 5, 2024 | Whistleblower

Environmental violations happen when companies break laws designed to protect the environment. These laws help keep air, water, and land clean and safe for people and wildlife. 

In Michigan, companies must follow strict rules set by both state and federal governments. Violations can include illegal dumping of chemicals, improper waste disposal, and air pollution. When companies ignore these rules, it can harm the environment and public health.

The role of whistleblowers

Whistleblowers help to expose environmental violations. These are individuals who report illegal activities within their company. They often have insider knowledge that can reveal serious breaches of the law. 

In Michigan, whistleblowers can report violations to agencies like the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) or the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Their actions can stop ongoing harm and prevent future damage to the environment.

Legal protections for whistleblowers

Michigan law protects whistleblowers from retaliation. This means that companies cannot punish employees for reporting violations. Protection includes safeguarding against firing, demotion, or harassment. 

Federal laws, such as the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act, also provide similar protections. These laws encourage people to come forward without fear of losing their jobs or facing other negative consequences.

Steps to report a violation

Reporting an environmental violation involves several steps. First, gather as much information as possible. This can include photos, documents, or witness statements. Next, contact the appropriate agency. In Michigan, EGLE handles most environmental complaints. Reports can be made online, by phone, or by mail. It is important to provide detailed information to ensure a thorough investigation.

The impact of whistleblowing

Whistleblowing can lead to significant positive changes. It can result in fines for violators, stricter regulations, and cleaner environments. Public awareness can increase, leading to greater community involvement in environmental protection. Ultimately, whistleblowers help uphold the law and protect Michigan’s natural resources for future generations.

Encouraging a culture of compliance

Companies should foster a culture of compliance and transparency. This involves providing regular training on environmental laws and encouraging employees to report any concerns. By doing so, companies can avoid violations and contribute to a healthier environment.