High Court Ruling Weakens Favored EPA Enforcement Tool

Law360, New York (March 21, 2012, 12:49 PM EDT) -- The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling Wednesday in Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency pares back a favored tool the EPA uses to enforce environmental laws and will likely lead the agency to turn to less potent measures, attorneys say.

The court ruled 9-0 that property owners could challenge EPA compliance orders in court before the EPA brings legal action to enforce them. The orders constituted “final agency actions,” and the Clean Water Act didn’t bar property owners from seeking pre-enforcement judicial review under the Administrative Procedure Act,...
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