Environment & Energy Report

Scrapping Enforcement Tool Doesn’t Sideline Mitigation, DOJ Says

May 27, 2020, 7:18 PM

A top Justice Department lawyer is defending the agency’s elimination of a popular settlement tool in environmental cases—and offering reassurances that the government will still require polluters to clean up their messes.

Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Brightbill on Wednesday stressed that a March memo eliminating supplemental environmental projects, or SEPs, in federal enforcement deals doesn’t affect mitigation and other cleanup requirements.

Agency lawyers will still seek “mitigation and other forms of projects and activities that are actually remedying the harm and are the result of the violation that is actually being pursued,” Brightbill said during an Environmental Law Institute...

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