"Law: Many Recusals For Acting Chief of DOJ Environment Section"

"Jeffrey Wood, the acting head of the Justice Department's environmental branch, is having to step aside from dozens of cases facing the government, both because of his past work for an Alabama law firm and Trump administration ethics restrictions, newly released documents show.

Among them: litigation over U.S. EPA's Clean Power Plan and Cross-State Air Pollution Rule update; legal battles over regional haze regulations affecting individual coal-fired power plants; and enforcement actions stemming from the Volkswagen emissions cheating scandal, according to a February memo from Karen Wardzinski, the designated ethics official for DOJ's Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD).

In all, Wardzinski, the chief of the division's law and policy section, listed more than 40 cases — some of them related — from which Wood was precluded from participating at that point. Those included any in which his former employer, Birmingham, Ala.-based Balch & Bingham LLP, was involved, as well as those pertaining to Southern Co., the utility holding company headquartered in Atlanta that is a long-standing Balch client, and Nashville, Tenn.-based Ingram Barge Co., where Wood once worked as an in-house attorney."

Sean Reilly reports for Greenwire April 25, 2017.

Source: Greenwire, 04/26/2017