BP was charged with $25 billion in environmental, health and safety penalties since 2010. The oil and gas industry overall paid more in these kinds of penalties than any other industry—nearly $32 billion since 2010, followed by pharmaceutical ($13 billion), utility/power generation companies ($3 billion) and the auto and chemical industries.
Now it’s possible to keep tabs on companies that are the largest corporate environmental, health and safety violators, thanks to Violation Tracker. The Violation Tracker database includes about 100,000 cases with penalties of $5,000 or more, initiated by 13 federal agencies.
Good Jobs First’s analysis of top corporate offenders, using Violation Tracker, found large corporations were responsible for the vast majority of major penalties. Companies on the Fortune 500 and the non-U.S. portion of the Fortune Global 500 accounted for more than 80% of Violation Tracker’s total penalty universe. Foreign companies operating in the United States also represented a large share of the violations.
Violation Tracker makes it easier to hold corporate violators accountable because it allows the user to follow a company’s track record through its subsidiary relationships, across federal agencies and across geographies, highlighting patterns where they may not have otherwise become evident.
Philip Mattera, director of the Corporate Research Project of Good Jobs First, said:
The fact that so many of the companies in Violation Tracker are repeat offenders highlights the need to find more effective ways to deter corporate recidivists.
Violation Tracker is similar to the Web-based search tool Job Tracker, developed by Working America several years ago, which tracked company safety and health and labor violations and job losses of companies using government data. Violation Tracker has some additional features, covering additional types of violations and linking parent companies to subsidiaries.
Good Jobs First hopes to expand the database to cover other forms of corporate misconduct, including labor laws and financial regulations and allowing for scrutiny of corporations in the financial services, tech and retail industries.