Law and Policy Section

Statue of Lady Justice on the Department of Justice Building. Courtesy of Ned Wolff, DOJ.


The Law and Policy Section staff advises and assists the Assistant Attorney General on environmental legal and policy questions, particularly those that affect multiple sections in the Division. Working with the Justice Department’s Office of Legislative Affairs, client agencies and Congressional staff, it:

  • coordinates the Environment Division's response to legislative proposals and Congressional requests;
  • prepares for appearances of Division witnesses before Congressional committees, and
  • drafts legislative proposals in connection with the Division's work, for example, the implementation of litigation settlements.

The Section responds to Congressional and citizen correspondence and Freedom of Information Act requests; and serves as the Division's ethics officer and counselor, alternative dispute resolution counselor, and liaison with state and local governments. Attorneys in the Section also litigate cases in which the United States appears as amicus curiae, undertake other special litigation projects, and coordinate the Division's involvement in environmental litigation and policy matters.

The Section facilitates Division-wide initiatives on legal issues affecting minority and low-income communities that are disproportionately affected by environmental burdens. The Section coordinates the Division's efforts to provide advice, through the Department's Office of Legal Policy and the Office of Management and Budget, to agencies that are considering regulations or policies related to the environment and our natural resources. The Section also leads the Division's work with interagency groups and task forces and facilitates Division-wide initiatives on legal and policy matters.

From its inception, the Law and Policy Section (formerly PLSL or the Policy Legislation and Special Litigation Section) has advised and assisted the Assistant Attorney General of the Environment Division on environmental legal and policy questions. Click below to learn more about its history and work.


Updated September 25, 2020

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