EPA To End “Sue And Settle”

EPA administrator Scott Pruitt announced this week that the agency will take steps to eliminate “sue and settle” practices which have been used by environmental groups, like the Wild Earth Guardians, to shape environmental policy in the United States. During the announcement, Pruitt said the days of regulation through litigation are over, and the agency will no longer go behind closed doors to resolve lawsuits filed against the agency by special interest groups, circumventing the congressional regulatory process. Over the years special interest groups have utilized lawsuits to force federal agencies, especially the EPA, to issue regulations that advance their interests and priorities. The litigation then forces the EPA to take an action that is not mandatory under the governing statutes, and oftentimes, these agreements are reached with little to no public input or transparency. “Sue and settle” cases establish obligations the EPA must adhere to without participation by states or the regulated community.  The practice eliminates meaningful public participation in rule-making, forcing the Agency to reach certain regulatory outcomes which according to members of the Congressional Western Caucus, has cost the American taxpayer millions of dollars. Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney says she strongly supports Pruitt’s goal to end the practice of ‘Sue & Settle.’ Cheney believes that for far too long the Obama-era EPA worked hand-in-hand with far-left environmental organizations to promote their extreme agenda at the expense of hard working men and women. She says the directive starts a necessary path for the EPA to correct and restore the transparency that was often lacking during the Obama Administration.

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