Environmental Enforcement Keynote Address by Senator Dan Sullivan
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.
At a luncheon and panel event hosted by The Federalist Society’s Regulatory Transparency Project and ConservAmerica, Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan delivered a keynote address on the value of transparency and impartiality in environmental enforcement.