Deep Dive Episode 222 – The Return of Supplemental Environmental Projects

On May 5, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a new “Comprehensive Environmental Justice Strategy.” One piece of this new strategy was an Interim Final Rule reintroducing the use of Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs) in environmental enforcement action settlements.

As defined by the Biden administration, SEPs are “local projects that defendants can agree to undertake as part of an enforcement case settlement to help rectify environmental violations.” These projects were outlawed under the Trump DOJ due to concerns that their use expands DOJ discretionary authority beyond its statutory limits. The Biden administration, however, argues that “SEPs help to fulfill the goals of the underlying statutes being enforced and can provide important environmental and public health benefits to communities that have been harmed by environmental violations.”

On June 15, 2022, three executive branch veterans with a range of views on the issue joined us for a virtual discussion on the return of SEPs.

Michael Buschbacher

Counsel

Boyden Gray & Associates PLLC


Justin A. Savage

Global Co-Lead, Environmental Team

Sidley Austin LLP


Annie Donaldson Talley

Partner

Luther Strange and Associates


Enforcement & Agency Coercion

The Federalist Society and Regulatory Transparency Project take no position on particular legal or public policy matters. All expressions of opinion are those of the speaker(s). To join the debate, please email us at [email protected].