DOJ Issues Environmental Enforcement Priorities

DOJ’s Environment and Natural Resources Division released its enforcement principles and priorities under Attorney General Sessions which align with much of Administrator Pruitt’s “Back to Basics” approach.  DOJ will continue to pursue civil and criminal prosecutions where the leading objective is to protect the public health and maintain the integrity of environmental programs.

Cases in this category arise principally, but not exclusively, under CERCLA (particularly cases addressing significant contamination), the Oil Pollution Act (OPA), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the Clean Air Act (particularly in areas with more acute air pollution problems), the Clean Water Act (CWA) (particularly pollution of impaired water bodies), and the Safe Drinking Water Act (particularly civil violations of drinking water standards in disadvantaged, low-income, or minority communities).

As well, look for continued focus on those programs that the federal government directly implements, such as auto emissions certifications and enforcement of the renewable fuel standard as well as traditional environmental violations and crimes that have significant and demonstrable public health and environmental impacts, such as lead in drinking water.

 

 

 

Brent Fewell

Brent Fewell