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Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division Holds Annual Ceremony to Recognize Employees and Partners for Excellence in Service

The Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD) held its annual awards ceremony today to highlight outstanding work in the realm of civil and criminal environmental enforcement, agency rulemaking defense, natural resource protection, Indian law and other areas.

The 2023 Muskie-Chafee Award, the most prestigious award conferred by ENRD to federal employees who notably uphold the division’s mission, was presented to Director Tracy S. Toulou of the Justice Department’s Office of Tribal Justice (OTJ), which Toulou has led since 2000. An expert in federal Indian law, Toulou has helped address Tribes’ public safety challenges by strengthening Tribal sovereignty, Tribal self-governance and the government-to-government relationship between the Justice Department and Tribal governments, including improving Tribal input in agency decision-making and introducing a meaningful and transparent standard used as a model across the federal government. The Muskie-Chafee Award is named after modern environmental movement leaders Edmund S. Muskie and John H. Chafee and was first given to help mark the ENRD’s 90th anniversary in 1999.

The 2023 Tom C. Clark II Award was presented to the Evergreen Resource Recovery, LLC (E.R.R.) Jury Trial Team: Jason Barbeau, Shea Diaz, Jeff Maynard and Sheila McAnaney. The E.R.R. team won hard-fought liability and cost recovery victories, under the Oil Pollution Act, against a Louisiana wastewater treatment facility which illegally discharged oil into the Mississippi River. The award is named for former ENRD attorney and manager Tom C. Clark II and recognizes an ENRD employee or team for exceptional trial preparation, which is an area in which Clark excelled.

“Each ENRD attorney and staff member plays an important role in our mission to enforce the Nation’s civil and criminal environmental laws, protect natural resources, reduce pollution, coordinate environmental justice activities nationwide and uphold tribal rights and resources. Director Toulou has worked throughout his career to develop and implement meaningful solutions to the specific challenges facing Tribal governments. And from the E.R.R. Jury Trial Team, to each individual and team recognized across the division and in each section, we are proud to recognize outstanding work in service to the American people.” – ENRD Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim.

ENRD Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim recognized many other individuals and teams who made superior contributions to the division’s mission over the past year and gave out division-wide awards. Each of ENRD’s ten sections also recognized outstanding work by individuals and teams working within the section: Appellate, Environmental Crimes, Environmental Defense, Environmental Enforcement, Executive Office, Indian Resources, Land Acquisition, Law & Policy, Natural Resources and Wildlife & Marine Resources.

ENRD brings cases against those who violate the nation’s environmental laws and defends the federal government in complex civil litigation arising under a broad range of environmental statutes. With offices across the United States, ENRD is the nation's environmental lawyer, and the largest environmental law firm in the country. It is also home to the Justice Department’s Office of Environmental Justice, which engages all Justice Department bureaus, components and offices in the collective pursuit of environmental justice.

Updated September 13, 2023