January 06, 2021

The Future of SEPs in Citizen Suits

Louise Dyble

In July 2020, the United States staked out an uncompromising position in a case involving alleged Clean Air Act (CAA) violations, arguing that the court was required to review and reject a settlement agreement between the defendant and the Sierra Club, which had joined as an intervenor early on. United States v. DTE Energy Co., Case No. 2:10CV13101 (E.D. Mich. July 8, 2020). The settlement, which was separate from and additional to a negotiated consent decree resolving the government’s claims, would “override the considered enforcement discretion of the United States not to seek additional relief,” according to the United States. In particular, approving the Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs) included in the settlement would “eviscerate” statutory limits on available remedies, raising “difficult and fundamental” constitutional questions. Id.

Premium Content For:
  • Environment, Energy, and Resources Section
Join - Now