Federal Agency Sue and Settlement Practices

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The Congressional Civil Justice Caucus Academy held a briefing on Federal Agency Sue and Settlement Practices on Friday, November 22 at the Rayburn House Office Building. "Sue and Settle" is a practice used by environmental advocacy groups and federal…


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The Congressional Civil Justice Caucus Academy held a briefing on Federal Agency Sue and Settlement Practices on Friday, November 22 at the Rayburn House Office Building. "Sue and Settle" is a practice used by environmental advocacy groups and federal regulators to change policies at federal agencies, ususally the Environmental Protection Agency. Typically, an advocacy group sues the agency for failure to adequately enforce environmental laws, arguing that the agency has a duty under those laws to establish standards or practices and has failed to do so. Once the agency has been sued, it settles with the advocacy group. Through a court order called a consent decree, the agency is required to implement its own standard, often without input from other relevant parties, such as state environmental protection agencies. Join us for a discussion of this important topic, and hear different perspectives on the pros and cons of federal agency sue and settle practices.

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