Under new provisions of the amended Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA, or the Lautenberg Act) any company which deliberately suppresses its knowledge of the risk associated with a chemical it produces would be committing a criminal act. It would be up to the EPA to prove that the company had knowledge that the action was generally illegal and also that the concealment was purposeful and not the result of some accident or mistake. An individual or a company could face a fine of up to $50,000 if convicted of a misdemeanor offence of knowingly or willfully suppressing risk data. If the guilty action causes risk of death or serious physical injury the offence is a felony. In this case the government would have the burden of proving the conduct was both knowing and willfully, and the penalty for an individual found guilty is a fine of up to $250,000, and/or imprisonment of up to 15 years. A corporation found guilty of a felony violation faces a fine of up to $1 million. The double burden of proof for a criminal violation is similar to that for the Clean Air Act and is often insurmountable for the government.
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