Assistant Attorney General Ignacia S. Moreno to Join United States Attorney James Santelle and Other Federal Officials in the Eastern District of Wisconsin for a Meeting on Joint Environmental Enforcement Cooperation
James L. Santelle, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, announced today that the Honorable Ignacia S. Moreno, Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division, United States Department of Justice, visited the Eastern District of Wisconsin on Monday, January 9, 2012.
In making this announcement, Santelle stated: “The principal purpose of the visit is to engage investigative and legal representatives of various federal agencies in important, productive discussions about the work being done to protect our lands, our waterways, our air, and our communities from environmental harm–and to promote cleaner, safer places in which our next generations will live and work.” Santelle noted that, in addition to assessing and supporting the present district-wide enforcement activities in the environmental area, he and Assistant Attorney General Moreno will also be “engaging our colleagues in discussions about the future of this significant work–including the identification of mechanisms to address them promptly, effectively, and meaningfully for all of our citizens.”
According to Santelle, he and Assistant Attorney General Moreno met with officials of the Environmental Protection Agency, the United States Forest Service, and the United States Fish & Wildlife Service–and were joined during the day by partners from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the Wisconsin Department of Justice. Santelle stated that he anticipates that “the visit by Assistant Attorney General Moreno will serve not only as an affirmation of the importance of relationships by and between all federal and state agencies responsible for enforcing environmental laws but also of the cooperative spirit among all of us as we work together in this critically important mission.”
Santelle and Assistant Attorney General Moreno were joined by Michael W. Cotter, the United States Attorney for the District of Montana and chair of the Environmental Issues Working Group. During his address to federal partners Cotter emphasized that “the enforcement of environmental laws and regulations should not be viewed as harmful to businesses, but instead as laws that prevent the injury of workers and the contamination of our communities when properly enforced.” Cotter further noted that “the goal of the United States Department of Justice is to ensure that communities will not be burdened disproportionately by environmental and health hazards.”
“I am pleased to be here with United States Attorney Jim Santelle and our many federal, state and local partners,” said Assistant Attorney General Moreno. “We share a strong commitment to enforcing our nation’s environmental and natural resources laws, and by leveraging our collective resources and authorities, we can best protect human health and the environment in the State of Wisconsin.”
Additional information on the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the United States Department of Justice is available on their website at http://www.justice.gov/enrd/ENRD_AAG.html.
Inquiries about this event should be directed to Mr. Dean Puschnig of the Office of the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin at (414) 297-1700.