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Law and Policy Section

About the Section

The Law and Policy Section – often referred to as LPS – advises the Assistant Attorney General on environmental legal and policy questions and helps develop and support ENRD priorities and initiatives. Much of our work involves cross-cutting issues that require coordination among multiple sections in ENRD, multiple components in the Department of Justice, and multiple agencies in the Executive Branch of the federal government, as well as with local, State, and Tribal governments.

The Section works with the Department’s Office of Legislative Affairs (OLA) to coordinate ENRD’s review of legislative proposals and to provide technical or drafting assistance with legislative proposals that relate to the Division’s work. LPS also helps OLA respond to Congressional requests and prepare witnesses for appearances before Congressional committees. The section also reviews and comments on drafts of regulations by our client agencies and leads the Division’s work with interagency groups and task forces on a wide range of matters.

The Section’s practice also includes a variety of counseling and technical assistance roles on international matters, including development and execution of capacity-building programs to counter timber and wildlife trafficking and support for implementation of international agreements that relate to natural resources and environment-related provisions in trade agreements.

Attorneys in the Law and Policy Section also litigate cases in which the United States appears as amicus curiae and undertake other special litigation projects. LPS houses the Division’s Counsel for State and Local Matters, who serves as a liaison with State and local governments. In addition, LPS coordinates the Division’s responses to Congressional and citizen correspondence and to Freedom of Information Act requests and monitors citizen suits under the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act, providing comments on proposed consent decrees as appropriate. LPS also provides ethics advice to the Division.

Meet the Section Chief


Justin Smith
Section Chief

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