EPA Ending “Sue and Settle”

Dan Environment, Industry News Release, Legislative

epaEnvironmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt is touting a directive he signed this week to end the EPA’s so-called “sue and settle” strategy, a practice agriculture groups opposed. Pruitt issued an Agency-wide directive Monday to end the practice, a move he says means “the days of regulation through litigation are over.” Pruitt said the agency would “no longer go behind closed doors” and use consent decrees and settlement agreements to resolve lawsuits filed against the agency by special interest groups. Pruitt announced his intention to end “sue and settle” in March of this year.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce describes the “sue and settle” practice as when a federal agency agrees to a settlement agreement, in a lawsuit from special interest groups, to create priorities and rules outside of the normal rulemaking process.

As an example, between 2009 and 2012, EPA chose not to defend itself in more than 60 lawsuits from special interest advocacy groups. The Chamber says these cases resulted in settlement agreements and EPA publishing more than 100 new regulations, including the recent Clean Power Plan.

From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.