Last year, Covington predicted an increased focus on environmental enforcement under the Biden Administration.  Recent statements by key environmental leadership have confirmed this, further sharpened Administration priorities, and track renewed focus by DOJ more broadly on combating corporate malfeasance.  In the coming year, regulated entities should prepare for increased criminal enforcement, including consideration of conduct within their supply chains.  They should also expect increased scrutiny of their environmental compliance programs, including the potential for corporate monitorship if DOJ deems a company’s compliance program to be inadequate.

Continue Reading Environmental Enforcement in 2022: Renewed Focus on Criminal Conduct, Compliance

The Biden Administration has signaled its willingness to resume the practice of including supplemental environmental projects (SEPs) in settlements by swiftly revoking Trump Administration memoranda which formally eliminated their use.  This is an important development that regulated entities can benefit from when they face investigations and enforcement proceedings.  Although further clarification from the Department of Justice is expected in this area, targets in potential enforcement actions can begin to prepare now.
Continue Reading New Environmental Enforcement Flexibilities in the Biden Administration: What you Can Do Now To Benefit from a Powerful Tool for Resolving Controversies

Amidst the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic (but not specifically relating to it), the Department of Justice has announced a major shift in policy towards settling environmental cases.  DOJ, and EPA along with it, will no longer offer settling defendants the option of undertaking supplemental environmental projects in lieu of paying penalties to the United States.
Continue Reading DOJ Moves to Eliminate Supplemental Environmental Projects from Settlements