On Friday, the Environment and Natural Resources Division publicly distributed a memorandum summarizing important principles and priorities for environmental enforcement. The memorandum, issued Jan. 14 by outgoing Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Bossert Clark, emphasizes that robust enforcement of our nation’s environmental laws remains one of the division’s highest priorities. It emphasizes that, when engaged in criminal and civil enforcement, it is important that the division continue to enhance the fair and impartial application of the law.
The memorandum collects and reflects recent policies and guidance within the division, from around the Department of Justice, and in orders from the President for the continued just implementation of these responsibilities and for ensuring due process to the citizens of the United States who must have fair notice of the laws they are expected to obey. It articulates several key enforcement priorities that the division has pursued in recent years, including a focus on clean air, clean water, and clean land; a commitment to fighting fraud and protecting taxpayer money; and an emphasis on protecting America’s workers and infrastructure.
The memorandum — along with three other new memoranda regarding (1) the proper scope of equitable mitigation, (2) new restrictions on the use of Supplemental Environmental Projects, and (3) a discussion of additional recommendations on the use of enforcement discretion — are available on the division’s webpage: https://www.justice.gov/enrd/selected-documents.