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Ever since Congress created the United States Environmental Protection Agency (or "EPA") in 1970, one of the Agency’s primary functions has been the enforcement of lawsuits brought against companies and, in some cases, individuals. The EPA has filed thousands of lawsuits all across the country, seeking to enforce legislative edicts that include the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (a.k.a. Superfund or CERCLA). But what happens when the tables are turned? What happens when the EPA is the defendant? Is bringing such a lawsuit even possible? Experienced New Jersey and New York environmental lawyers can answer these questions.
Governments are generally immune from lawsuits and allegations of egregious conduct. If a government’s decision or regulation adversely affects your interests, there is may be little that can be done outside of the political realm. There are a few exceptions, which may help explain the studied increase in lawsuits against the EPA. Some environmental laws specifically authorize aggrieved persons and entities to sue the EPA, whether the plaintiff believes that the EPA’s actions are too much or not enough.
Just because there is a law prohibiting a certain activity, does not mean this law is fairly enforced, necessitating an “agency-forcing,” or “deadline,” or "citizen" suit. Just as a lawsuit may be needed to force private persons and companies to take required action, environmental lawyers may need to bring a lawsuit to spur the EPA into action.
If the governing statute allows such a procedure, an aggrieved individual or organization may find that filing a lawsuit against the EPA may be a good course of action for several reasons, including:
While there is never a guarantee of success in any legal situation, a lawsuit against the EPA may be the tool your organization needs to accomplish its goals.
At Lieberman & Blecher, we have a long track record of success. We are proud to represent individuals and organizations to achieve various goals in the environmental realm. We understand your issues and work tirelessly to achieve lasting results.