Program Description: “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.
The Law & Economics Center held a discussion of this important topic, and showcased different perspectives on the pros and cons of federal agency sue and settle practices.
William L. Kovacs, Senior Vice President, Environment, Technology & Regulatory Affairs, US Chamber of Commerce
John D. Walke, Director, Climate & Clean Air Program, Natural Resources Defense Counsel
Henry N. Butler, Executive Director, Law & Economics Center and George Mason Foundation Professor of Law
For More Information, Contact: Congressional Civil Justice Caucus Academy