(October 17, 2017) - EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced Oct. 16 that the Agency would no longer engage in legal settlements with environmental activist groups that lead to new regulations or mandates. Sometimes referred to as “sue and settle” by critics, this approach has drawn scrutiny from those that believe EPA has previously used legal settlements with activist groups to require the Agency to develop new rules and regulations. The Administrator also announced that EPA would be cracking down on legal fees paid to litigants in these suits.
“The days of regulation through litigation are over,” said Administrator Pruitt in a statement. “We will no longer go behind closed doors and use consent decrees and settlement agreements to resolve lawsuits filed against the Agency by special interest groups where doing so would circumvent the regulatory process set forth by Congress. Additionally, gone are the days of routinely paying tens of thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees to these groups with which we swiftly settle.”