On November 12, 2020, Doug Green was quoted in E&E News on how President-elect Joe Biden’s administration might change environmental enforcement.
According to the article, under the Trump administration, the number of environmental cases pursued by Department of Justice (DOJ) has dropped precipitously. The president-elect is expected to take a dramatically different tack in addressing environmental violations, but changes to DOJ's approach won't begin when Biden steps into the White House. He will first need to get his department appointees in place, and then he'll need to request that Congress fund the department's goals. DOJ will then need to wait for EPA to get new cases rolling.
Even without pursuing new cases, the Biden administration could send strong signals to the regulated community simply by making clear its intent to be tougher on polluters. "I do think we'll see more of a focus on self-evaluation audits and self-disclosures," said Green. Those tools allow companies to analyze their own activities and report violations on a voluntary basis, allowing them to duck heavy civil penalties.
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