Environment and Natural Resources Division and National Association of Attorneys General Announce Guidelines for Joint State-Federal Civil Environmental Enforcement
The Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division and the National Association of Attorneys General announced the availability today of Guidelines for Joint State/Federal Civil Environmental Enforcement Litigation. A workgroup of litigators from the Environment and Natural Resources Division, the NAAG’s National Attorneys General Research and Training Institute, and state attorney general offices developed these guidelines as a revision to a document originally issued in 2003.
The Guidelines provide a general framework for cooperation between sovereigns in joint civil environmental enforcement litigation and derive from lessons learned in such cases over many years. They include both organizational and substantive suggestions on common topics that arise in joint civil enforcement matters, including case management and settlement issues, pre-filing considerations, and information sharing. They also include several appendices with sample documents and reference information.
“Cooperative federalism is fundamental to the structure and effectiveness of our Nation’s environmental laws, and the Environment and Natural Resources Division vigorously pursues opportunities to partner with our state and local counterparts in environmental enforcement,” said Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden. “In doing so, we combine sovereigns, reduce costs, and obtain more comprehensive results for the American people. These Guidelines draw on the expertise of a variety of litigators and will be a valuable resource to environmental enforcement colleagues at all levels of government. I am grateful to the National Association of Attorneys General for partnering with the Division on this project.”
“The National Attorneys General Training and Research Institute appreciated the opportunity to work with U.S. Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resource Division staff in this collaborative effort to provide information that it anticipates will be helpful to our members,” said Chris Toth, Deputy Executive Director of the National Association of Attorneys General and Director of the National Attorneys General Training and Research Institute (NAGTRI). “Most importantly, NAGTRI would like to offer an extended thank you to attorneys from the New York and Michigan Offices of the Attorney General who worked diligently on this endeavor.”