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Are SEPs Back Already?

The Trump administration didn't like Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs). Just last March, Jeff Clark (yes, that Jeff Clarke) issued a memo ending the use of the SEPS, concluding that "Sound public policy does not support the use of SEPs." See this link: https://www.justice.gov/enrd/page/file/1257901/download


SEPs had been used for years in EPA settlements, primarily with larger corporations that could afford them (SEPs add cost and complexity to a settlement, but they generate good PR). The legal question that had been around for years was whether they constituted an illegal misappropriation of penalty money that was targeted to the Treasury to the benefit of the EPA. Workarounds were devised because the SEP program was largely a popular one. Lots of wetlands and stream bank restoration projects have happened because of SEPs.


So today's DOJ press release was a bit of a surprise. See link below. It's a CAA case, but it contains a $2 million SEP. What happened to the March 12, 2020 Clark memo? Was it already rescinded? In any case, it's a clear indication that D.C. is under new management.

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/justice-department-and-epa-announce-settlement-stericycle-inc-address-environmental



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