Bloomberg Law
July 27, 2020, 3:09 PMUpdated: July 27, 2020, 9:36 PM

DOJ Limits Clean Water Act Enforcement Overlap With States (1)

Ellen M. Gilmer
Ellen M. Gilmer

The Justice Department will avoid pursuing Clean Water Act civil enforcement cases that overlap with state actions, the agency’s top environment lawyer announced Monday.

In a new memo, Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Bossert Clark said federal actions seeking penalties under the anti-pollution law will be “strongly disfavored” when a state has already initiated its own enforcement action for alleged violations.

Some outside lawyers lauded the move for protecting against excessive enforcement, while others warned that the policy could let some polluters off easy. It’s the latest example of the Trump administration setting new rules for federal environmental enforcement.

The ...

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