Skip to main content

Environmental Defense Section

Hero Autumn Colors Colorado, Courtesy NOAA Photo by Joe Flood
Photo by NOAA
Hero Earth Day 2022 Marvin Gay Park Benjamin Grillot, Photo by Michael Vacca, ENRD
Photo by ENRD
Hero Earth Day 2022, Marvin Gay Park, EDS Team, Photo by Michael Vacca, ENRD
Photo by ENRD

About the Section

The Environmental Defense Section (EDS) handles a very diverse docket of cases arising in both federal district courts and the courts of appeals under the nation’s major pollution-control statutes, such as the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act, as well as statutes governing pesticides, drinking water, toxic substances, and the management and cleanup of hazardous wastes. Most of EDS cases are defensive in nature, which can range, for example, from challenges to EPA and other federal agency regulations, permit decisions and policies, to cases seeking to compel allegedly overdue agency actions, to cases brought against federal agencies seeking contribution to hazardous waste cleanups. EDS also handles a smaller but very significant docket of civil enforcement cases brought to protect federally regulated waterways and wetlands under the Clean Water Act. Recent noteworthy examples of EDS’ work include defense of EPA regulations governing greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles and stationary sources, as well as regulations issued by EPA and the Corps of Engineers defining the scope of “waters of the United States” subject to regulation under the Clean Water Act.

Statutes under which the Environmental Defense Section Litigates
EDS Client Agencies and Case Referrals

Meet the Section Chief


Jack Lipshultz
Acting Section Chief

Email the Division

Environment and Natural Resources Division seal
What We Do
  • Defend important regulations and other environmental decisions made by EPA and other federal agencies.
  • Assure that federal agency actions and decisions we defend fully comply with all relevant environmental and administrative legal requirements.
  • Seek meaningful civil penalties, restoration, and mitigation for illegal filling of wetlands and waterways under the Clean Water Act.
By the Numbers
Professional Support Staff