Partner Francis Lyons, a former Department of Justice (DOJ) environmental enforcement attorney and former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regional administrator, was quoted in the U.S. Department of Justice’s memorandum changing a nearly 30-year policy on the use of supplemental environmental projects (SEPs) as an option in enforcement settlements for environmental violations involving state and local governments.
The memorandum states: “As one supporter of SEPs (former EPA Regional Administrator Francis Lyons) told a reporter, 'SEPs are very popular with settling parties who would rather perform a project and pay less money to the Treasury Department.' DOJ Blocks Attorneys from Favored Settlement Tool, LAW360 (Oct. 31, 2019).”
Lyons is again referenced here: “No matter how well-intentioned SEPs are, by their design and intended purpose, SEPs reduce the amount paid into the Treasury (as Mr. Lyons acknowledges in his quotation), while simultaneously giving the Executive Branch discretion over how the monies diverted from the Treasury will be spent.”
Read more of Lyons’ insights on SEPs:
Energy & Environmental Law Adviser