Environment and Natural Resources Division Releases Accomplishments Report for FY2018
Today, the Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD) released its Accomplishments Report for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018. The report, which is published annually by ENRD, highlights the division’s strong enforcement of our nation’s environmental laws, defense of government programs that strengthen the country’s energy independence and national security, and close collaboration with states and tribes.
“I am pleased to share the 2018 accomplishments of the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the United States Department of Justice,” said Assistant Attorney General Jeffery Clark. “The Division achieved many impressive enforcement successes in fiscal year 2018, and I am immensely proud of the hard work of our extraordinary and dedicated attorneys and staff who made these accomplishments possible. I look forward to continuing the important work of the Division in achieving our mission together in 2019 and beyond.”
This year, ENRD focused on several key objectives: vigorously enforcing the pollution abatement and wildlife protection laws of the United States, particularly in cases involving fraud or abuse; promoting energy independence and economic growth by defending the reduction of regulatory burdens and supporting infrastructure development; strengthening national security and border protection; promoting cooperative federalism; and protecting the public fisc.
In fiscal year 2018, ENRD worked on approximately 3,800 cases and matters, while maintaining a robust docket of over 6,750 cases and matters. The Division obtained over $260 million in civil and criminal fines, penalties, and costs recovered. The estimated value of federal injunctive relief obtained — including cleanup and pollution-prevention actions funded by private parties — exceeded $3.3 billion.
ERND defended legal challenges to the Trump Administration’s energy policies and regulatory reform agenda. By defending the actions of our client agencies, the Division plays a critical role in paving the way for infrastructure and energy security projects that will strengthen the U.S. economy and facilitate border control and military operations to protect our national security.
In addition, the Division secured 30 CERCLA (Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act) settlements and judgments. The settlements and judgments brought on behalf of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) obtained clean-up work estimated to cost more than $170 million and over $88 million in costs previously expended by EPA. For example, the consent decree in United States v. Doe Run Resources Corporation (E.D. Mo.), a settlement signed by the United States, the State of Missouri, and the Doe Run Resources Corporation, requires the company to excavate lead-contaminated soil on approximately 4,100 affected residential properties.
ENRD continued its successful efforts to ensure the integrity of the renewable fuels program through prosecutions of companies that knowingly cheat the federal treasury and the American public through the sale of fraudulent Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs), credits that reflect a volume of renewable fuel manufactured. The Division added to its success in 2018 by convicting four defendants who were sentenced to lengthy prison terms (totaling 279 months of imprisonment) and ordered to pay over $65 million in restitution and forfeit $12.5 million for various multistate schemes to defraud RIN buyers and U.S. taxpayers.
“I am committed to continuing the good work of our Division, defending the rule of law, and promoting the President’s agenda of regulatory reform. We will fairly enforce our Nation’s environmental laws, focusing on bad actors who aim to get an advantage over others by cheating the system,” Assistant Attorney General Clark added.
The report also recognizes the important contributions of ENRD’s front office leadership: Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Brightbill; Deputy Assistant Attorneys General Jean Williams, Bruce Gelber, Eric Grant, and Lawrence VanDyke; and Counsel and Chief of Staff Corinne Snow.