CRAMER: STATEMENT ON TRUMP ADMINISTRATION ENDING EPA ‘SUE AND SETTLE’
BISMARCK, N.D. - Congressman Kevin Cramer made the following comments on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt issuing a directive to end EPA “sue and settle” practices:
“The Obama Administration was a breeding ground for extreme environmental groups suing the federal government only to get behind closed doors and reach a friendly settlement agreement. Not only did these settlements circumvent the transparent rulemaking process and prioritize agency obligations to environmentalists’ liking, but it enriched the environmental group lawyers in the process at the expense of the taxpayer. I’m pleased to see the Trump Administrator stomp out this practice mirroring many of the reforms put forward by House Republicans.”
The Administrator’s action today direct the EPA to increase transparency and public engagement when considering a settlement agreement. Such actions include publishing notices of intent to sue the EPA, reaching out to states and/or regulated entities affected by potential settlements, excluding attorney’s fees and litigation costs when settling with those suing the EPA, and publishing any proposed settlements for 30-day public comment.
Through his work in the House of Representatives, Cramer has fought against similar ‘sue and settle’ practices such as during the debate of the Stream Protection Rule or Stream Buffer Zone Rule. In the 114th Congress, the House passed H.R. 712, the Sunshine for Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act, which goes after sue and settle. No action was taken in the Senate.