DOJ Issues New Guidelines on Consent Decrees with Local Governments
(November 14, 2018) – The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) released a memo last week setting specific new parameters on how the federal government may enter into consent decrees with local governments. While the memo has sparked some controversy, it also provides an important new document that publicly owned clean water utilities should be aware of when discussing enforcement issues with the federal government.
The memo is further evidence that, at the very highest levels, DOJ is open to a philosophy of compliance assistance for new instances of noncompliance and for communities already under enforcement decrees. NACWA has played an important role to helping push the important of a “compliance assistance first” policy as it related to potential Clean Water Act issues. More information and analysis of the memo is available in NACWA’s recent Advocacy Alert.