At least five companies with histories of violating environmental rules secured emergency government loans totaling as much as $32 million to retain employees during the early months of the coronavirus pandemic.

Those companies, most in the energy sector, have collectively paid more than $52 million in penalties for violations of clean air and other environmental regulations, according to an analysis by the watchdog group Accountable.US and HuffPost. Each secured a sizable loan within a month of the Paycheck Protection Program launching in early April, which Congress created to help assist small businesses.