Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis

Through President Biden’s E.O. on “Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis,” dated January 20, the Environment and Natural Resource Division of the Department of Justice on February 4 issued a withdrawal notice memo affecting various policy documents issued during the Trump Administration. Notably, Supplemental Environmental Projects, banned from use during the last Administration, are again viable options for civil settlements with the federal government. Concluding that the following policies were inconsistent with longstanding Division policy and practice, the following policy documents have been formally withdrawn:

1. “Enforcement Principles and Priorities,” January 14, 2021;
2. “Additional Recommendations on Enforcement Discretion,” January 14, 2021;
3. “Guidance Regarding Newly Promulgated Rule Restricting Third-Party Payments, 28 C.F.R. § 50.28,” January 13, 2021; 4. “Equitable Mitigation in Civil Environmental Enforcement Cases,” January 12, 2021;
5. “Civil Enforcement Discretion in Certain Clean Water Act Matters Involving Prior State
Proceedings,” July 27, 2020;
6. “Supplemental Environmental Projects (“SEPs”) in Civil Settlements with Private
Defendants,” March 12, 2020;
7. “Using Supplemental Environmental Projects (“SEPs”) in Settlements with State and
Local Governments,” August 21, 2019;
8. “Enforcement Principles and Priorities,” March 12, 2018; and
9. “Settlement Payments to Third Parties in ENRD Cases,” January 9, 2018.

Brent Fewell

Brent Fewell

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