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Press Release

Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division Commemorates Earth Day and Releases the Division’s Accomplishments Report for Fiscal Year 2023

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

The Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD) released the Division’s Accomplishments for Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 in commemoration of Earth Day on April 22.

“The Environment and Natural Resources Division continues to serve a critical role in securing environmental justice and responding to the climate crisis, which are two of the Administration’s top priorities,” said Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of ENRD. “We do this while carrying out a mission of remarkable breadth in enforcing federal laws enacted to protect public health, worker safety, natural resources, and animal welfare. Our work also promotes the sovereignty of federally recognized Indian Tribes, while protecting their rights, homelands and resources.”

The report highlights ENRD’s work in 2023 to defend pollution control measures, approvals for renewable energy projects and federal stewardship of public lands, wildlife and natural resources. The division’s Office of Environmental Justice provided environmental justice training, outreach resources and other support to the entire Justice Department while also organizing outreach and engaging with stakeholders. ENRD also continued its important work to partner with U.S. Attorneys’ Offices to prosecute criminal violations of environmental and animal welfare laws.

Some examples of ENRD’s work that are noted in the report include a Clean Air Act settlement featuring a $1.6 billion civil penalty with diesel engine maker Cummins Inc., a Clean Air Act settlement with BP Whiting securing important air toxic controls and a $40 million civil penalty (the largest-ever such penalty against a single facility), and the sentencing of a Florida couple for illegally importing plywood in violation of the Lacey Act and customs laws. ENRD attorneys also continued work to prosecute individuals for dogfighting, which this year led to multiple, multi-year sentences and the seizure of hundreds of dogs.

In FY 2023, ENRD attorneys worked on about 4,500 matters and obtained over $440 million in civil and criminal fines, penalties and costs recovered. The division also secured federal injunctive relief valued at $2.3 billion, saving the United States more than $2.5 billion through defensive and condemnation litigation.

Updated April 19, 2024

Press Release Number: 24-478