Partner Jane Montgomery was quoted on how the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) signaled interest in inspections and environmental justice issues could translate into more agency oversight over state authority to issue permits.
Jane noted that addressing environmental justice is easier through oversight and grant programs, but it could be more difficult to do within pre-existing enforcement authority.
“From the enforcement side, it’s going to take different tactics,” she said. “There’s going to be a lot more persuasion, and ‘Why don’t you try this?’ and ‘Let’s see what else we can do in this permit or in this context to address community concerns.’”
Jane added that the enforcement capabilities of other federal agencies could reinforce the EPA’s focus on environmental justice.
She said, “Creating this whole government approach that Biden has might make enforcement of environmental issues a broader initiative across the government, as opposed to just in the EPA world.”
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