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Justice Department Environment Chief to Lead Civil Division (1)

Sept. 2, 2020, 12:21 AMUpdated: Sept. 2, 2020, 12:32 AM

The head of the Justice Department’s environmental team will helm the agency’s Civil Division starting next week.

Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Bossert Clark of the Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD) will replace Acting Assistant Attorney General Ethan P. Davis of the Civil Division. Davis is leaving the department Sept. 7, the department announced Tuesday.

Clark, a political appointee, has led ENRD since his Senate confirmation in late 2018. He’s left a mark on the team of more than 500 attorneys and staff during that time—championing the Trump administration’s deregulatory agenda and revamping policies that guide environmental settlements and internal processes.

“I’m pleased the President has designated me as a Senate-confirmed officer to run the Civil Division and grateful to the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General,” Clark said in an email to Bloomberg Law. “And I’m very much looking forward to working with my new colleagues in a second Division.”

In a statement announcing Davis’s departure, Attorney General William P. Barr said Clark “has done a fantastic job” leading ENRD.

Justice Department press officials didn’t immediately respond to questions about whether ENRD will get new leadership when Clark begins overseeing the Civil Division. Jonathan D. Brightbill currently serves as Clark’s top deputy.

ENRD is in charge of enforcing the nation’s anti-pollution laws; defending actions by the Environmental Protection Agency, Interior Department, and other agencies; and handling tribal law and eminent domain issues. The Civil Division represents the U.S. in a broader portfolio of cases.

(Additional reporting in first, sixth paragraphs.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Ellen M. Gilmer in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Anna Yukhananov at; Chuck McCutcheon at