Study: Fines for illegal pollution plummet under Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new study says fines for illegal pollution have plummeted under President Donald Trump.

An environmental advocacy group looked at that civil penalties paid by polluters during the first six months under Trump. The group found penalties were less than half their levels under each of the past three presidents.

The Environmental Integrity Project report finds Trump's Justice Department settled 26 civil cases against companies over environmental violations, totaling $12 million in penalties. That's a 60 percent drop on average from comparable time periods under presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush or Bill Clinton.

Besides fewer settlements, the group says environmental offenders were also required to perform less cleanup and make smaller reductions to future pollution.

A spokesman for the Justice Department said it continues to "vigorously enforce" environmental laws.