DOJ Memo Puts States In Driver's Seat On Water Pollution

By Juan Carlos Rodriguez (July 28, 2020, 10:20 PM EDT) -- The U.S. Department of Justice this week solidified previously informal practices that generally keep the federal government out of state civil enforcement matters under the Clean Water Act, keeping step with the Trump administration's emphasis on state primacy in many environmental matters.

The agency's top environmental lawyer, Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Bossert Clark, released a memo Monday that says the DOJ will "strongly disfavor" pursuing its own civil enforcement actions seeking penalties under the Clean Water Act if a state has started or completed its own civil or administrative penalty action "under an analogous state law arising from the same operative...

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