Environmental Challenges To Federal Programs And Activities

Grand Teton National Park.  Courtesy of NPS.

The Division's cases frequently involve allegations that a federal program or action violates Constitutional provisions or environmental statutes. Examples include regulatory takings cases, in which the plaintiff claims he or she has been deprived of property without just compensation by a federal program or activity, or suits alleging that a federal agency has failed to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) by, for instance, failing to issue an environmental impact statement.

Both takings and NEPA cases can affect vital federal programs such as the Nation's defense capabilities (including military preparedness exercises, weapons programs, and military research), the NASA space program, recombinant DNA research, and beneficial recreational opportunities such as the rails-to-trails program. These cases also involve challenges to regulations promulgated to implement the Nation's anti-pollution statutes, such as the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act, or activities at federal facilities that are claimed to violate such statutes.

The Division's main clients in this area include the Department of Defense and the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Sharing responsibility for handling these cases are the:

 

Updated April 16, 2015