"Former EPA Lawyers Assail Pruitt's 'Sue And Settle' Directive"

"Nearly 60 former U.S. EPA lawyers are urging Administrator Scott Pruitt to rethink his recent directive aimed at curbing the 'sue and settle' practice by which groups take the agency to court to force regulations.

In a letter today, the 57 former counsels called the Oct. 16 directive 'patently biased' and a violation of the separation of powers contained in the Constitution. They warned that it will lead to longer litigation and rushed rulemaking by creating unworkable requirements for entering into settlement agreements.

'With some minor exceptions, it is unfair, unrealistic, and ultimately counterproductive,' the former agency lawyers wrote, adding that, 'We strongly urge you to revise your Directive and explanation so that it truly promotes fair, transparent, and efficient settlement of well-founded suits against the agency.'

Signing the letter were former lawyers from EPA's Office of General Counsel and regional agency offices around the country. The list includes attorneys with decades of experience at EPA during both Democratic and Republican administrations."

Amanda Reilly reports for Greenwire November 13, 2017.

Source: Greenwire, 11/14/2017