Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Hank J. Brightman
Environmental crime is among the most controversial categories of illicit activity within the parameters of defining social problems. Some scholars simply classify it as a form of white-collar crime, because the motivating factor behind committing such offenses is frequently financial gain. Federal enforcement entities consider the term more broadly, deeming actions such as killing endangered wildlife or illegally releasing toxic substances into public drinking water or agricultural production as posing serious risk to the public because of the long-term harm such actions may pose to society. Last, human rights advocates proffer that workers exposed to hazardous materials without proper health and safety equipment or training, and the deliberate placement of chemical plants and hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facilities in economically disadvantaged areas, are forms of political crime because those at the lowest stratum of the socioeconomic scale lack a voice in protecting themselves and their families when What ...