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Environmental Enforcement Section Old

American Bald Eagle. Courtesy of NPS.

Welcome to the Environmental Enforcement Section (EES)

The Environmental Enforcement Section is one of the largest litigating sections in the Department and includes nearly one-half of the Division's lawyers.  The Section is responsible for bringing civil judicial actions under most federal laws enacted to protect public health and the environment from the adverse effects of pollution, such as the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, Oil Pollution Act, RCRA and the Superfund law (CERCLA). The breadth of the Section's practice is extensive and challenging. It includes cases of national scope, such as cases against multiple members of an identified industry, to obtain broad compliance with the environmental laws.

Through its enforcement of the Superfund law, the Section seeks to compel responsible parties either to clean up hazardous waste sites or to reimburse the United States for the cost of cleanup, thereby ensuring that they, and not the public, bear the burden of paying for cleanup. The Superfund law is also a basis of the Section's actions to recover damages for injury to natural resources that are under the trusteeship of federal agencies.

The Section works closely with the Environmental Protection Agency and those federal agencies that serve as trustees for federal natural resources -- such as the Fish and Wildlife Service -- or serve as managers for federal lands -- such as National Parks and Forests -- when those resources and lands have been contaminated by third parties.

To learn more about our principal practice areas see:


Updated May 8, 2023