Feds Sued Over Not Letting Polluters Pay For Environmental Projects

“A conservation group sued the federal government on Thursday over an action taken this year to no longer allow polluters to reduce their fines by paying for projects to help the environment.

A Department of Justice (DOJ) memo issued in March and first reported by The Hill said that the Special Environmental Projects (SEPs), which had been used for about 30 years, violate a law requiring money received by the government to go to the U.S. Treasury.

DOJ argued that SEPs could only legally be allowed with express authorization from Congress and that the projects have been “controversial for decades.” It then suspended their use “both in light of their inconsistency with law and their departure from sound enforcement practices.””

Rachel Frazin reports for The Hill October 8, 2020.