EPA moves to deny greens legal tool by ending \’sue and settle\’ practice | Utility Dive
“The days of regulation through litigation are over,” Pruitt said in a statement. “We will no longer go behind closed doors and use consent decrees and settlement agreements to resolve lawsuits filed against the agency by special interest groups where doing so would circumvent the regulatory process set forth by Congress.”
He added that “gone are the days of routinely paying tens of thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees to these groups with which we swiftly settle.” The new directive will exclude attorney’s fees and litigation costs when the EPA is settling with parties.
According to Pruitt, the changes will increase transparency and provide accountability, but it remains to be seen how far-reaching the directive will be. Outside groups will still be able to sue the EPA when it does not meet its statutory obligations, said Krista McIntyre, partner and practice group leader for Stoel Rives’ environment, natural resources, and land use practices