Environmental Enforcement: Policies, Priorities, and the Rule of Law

June 20, 2023 at 12:00 PM ET

Our Nation’s environmental laws and regulations are designed to foster the responsible use of natural resources while ensuring air, water, and  land that is clean and safe for the citizenry as well as fish and wildlife.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and states are tasked with working cooperatively to ensure that these laws are faithfully enforced in a fair, consistent, and unbiased manner.  

Across industries, compliance with environmental laws is strongly influenced by corporate culture, or a collection of values, expectations, and practices established by a company’s leaders and implemented through daily compliance-related activities performed by employees.  But just as culture influences corporate behavior, it also influences government decisions regarding civil and criminal enforcement, including the targets of enforcement and the penalties and injunctive relief sought for violations.  While general enforcement policies and priorities shift from administration to administration, the perception that individual enforcement actions are subject to partisan politics and outside influences risks erosion of the public trust and confidence in these same institutions.

Co-hosted by The Federalist Society’s Regulatory Transparency Project and ConservAmerica, this panel, comprised of leading voices on environmental enforcement, will discuss past and current environmental enforcement priorities, policies and actions at EPA and DOJ, the value of transparency and impartiality in environmental enforcement, and share varying perspectives on the future of environmental enforcement in the United States.  The panel will also explore ways to increase environmental compliance and integrity in enforcement decision-making.

Dan Sullivan

U.S. Senator


Susan Bodine


Earth & Water Law

Eric Schaeffer

Executive Director

Environmental Integrity Project

David M. Uhlmann

Assistant Administrator (Nominee)

Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, United States Environmental Protection Agency

Jeffrey Wood


Baker Botts LLP

Michael Buschbacher


Boyden Gray PLLC

Energy & Environment
Enforcement & Agency Coercion


The Federalist Society and Regulatory Transparency Project take no position on particular legal or public policy matters. All expressions of opinion are those of the speaker(s). To join the debate, please email us at [email protected].

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