Fighting for Environmental Justice on Behalf of District Residents
Dear Fellow Washingtonians,
The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) recently announced that Potomac Electric Power Company (PEPCO) has agreed to pay $47 million toward the clean-up of the Anacostia River and an additional $10 million in penalties to resolve our allegations of chronic, illegal, and intentional pollution by PEPCO over many decades. While PEPCO is the first party to take responsibility, it is not the only polluter of the river. This settlement paves the way to accountability for every responsible party and sends a clear signal that OAG will continue to fight for environmental justice on behalf of District residents.
Home to an abundance of beautiful, natural resources, the District boasts the most green space of any major city and is home to two major rivers. But, as is too often the case, communities East of the Anacostia River bore the brunt of PEPCO’s pollution, with disproportionate health impacts on lower-income Black residents. The settlement with PEPCO represents a major step toward addressing pollution that has resulted in multi-generational health impacts, particularly in communities of color, and toward restoring the District’s most ecologically valuable watershed.
All District residents have the right to enjoy the natural treasures of our great city while living in safe and healthy neighborhoods. OAG will continue to work hard, everyday, to ensure that the law protects that right for everyone.
DC Attorney General
Holding Meta Accountable for Endangering District Youth Through Addictive Social Media Platforms
We sued Meta (which owns Instagram and Facebook) this month for putting its quest for advertising revenue over the psychological and emotional well-being of young people. Meta misleadingly downplayed the risks of its social media platforms which are designed – through features that deliver personalized content such as the infinite scroll function, reels, and near-constant alerts – to addict young users to their screens, to keep them online for as long as possible, and when they are offline, to lure them back. Meta did all of this with the knowledge that its practices come at the expense of the emotional, mental, and physical health of young people.
Ensuring positive, healthy youth development is a top priority for OAG, and we will continue to hold accountable anyone who preys on kids for profit.
Honoring Hispanic Heritage Month
In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, my office hosted a screening and discussion of the documentary “La Manplesa: An Uprising Remembered”—a compelling film that chronicles the cause and aftermath of the shooting of a young man from El Salvador in 1991 in Mount Pleasant.
You can watch the trailer for the movie here.
Securing $338K in Worker Restitution and Penalties
We recently resolved two wage theft investigations we brought against cleaning business Commercial Real Estate Consulting Group and drywall contractor T&A Construction. These companies will pay $338K in worker restitution and penalties. OAG is committed to protecting District workers and won’t allow companies to profit at the expense of their workers—or gain an unfair advantage over their competitors by flouting the law.
T&A Construction improperly retained subcontractors that misclassified scores of construction workers as independent contractors, depriving them of sick leave and other benefits to which they were entitled. T&A Construction has since stopped its misclassification practice and has paid $100,000 to harmed workers.
Commercial Real Estate Consulting Group, LLC (CRECG) also misclassified workers, failing to provide overtime pay and required paid sick leave, along with other errors. CRECG cooperated with our investigation, has paid more than $93,000 in restitution to impacted workers, and is taking corrective action to ensure it complies with District law.
Since being sworn in in January, my office has secured more than $6 million for workers and the District. And one of these two most recent settlement stemmed from an initial tip from the Latino Economic Development Center—tips are a critical part of wage theft investigations. If you believe a District business is violating workers’ rights, please contact our office.
Phone: (202) 442-9828
Protecting the Personal Information of DC Residents
Earlier this month, OAG secured more than $350,000 from Blackbaud, a software firm that services schools and charities in the District of Columbia. The settlement resolves allegations that Blackbaud’s security practices were deficient, including its response to a 2020 ransomware event that exposed the personal information of thousands of DC residents, increasing their risk of being the victim of identity theft, fraud, and scams.
Under the settlement, Blackbaud also agreed to overhaul its data security to limit the risk of future breaches.
District residents who believe that their personal information may have been compromised or that they have been the victim of a scam can file a complaint with OAG's Office of Consumer Protection by calling our hotline at (202) 442-9828 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org