Bloomberg Law
March 13, 2020, 7:12 PM

Justice Department Ends Use of Environmental Settlements Tool

Stephen Lee
Stephen Lee

The Justice Department has ended a nearly 30-year practice of letting companies make amends for pollution-related violations by performing environmentally beneficial projects, according to a memo posted Friday on the agency’s website.

The new policy takes effect immediately, wrote Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Bossert Clark, who heads the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.

Stopping the use of supplemental environmental projects (SEPs) cuts against the wishes of many in the business community, who favored the projects as a way of lowering their fines while also letting them perform projects that improve their public image.

SEPs traditionally have been used ...

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