By Owen Voutsinas-Klose
Owen Voutsinas-Klose is a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania studying Politics, Philosophy and Economics minoring in Legal Studies and History in the College of Arts and Sciences.
On October 16th 2017, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced a directive implementing restrictions on the EPA - affecting its settlements with outside groups. These regulations include requiring proposed changes to regulations resulting from a settlement to be published prior to the settlement and prohibiting the payment of attorneys’ fees as a part of a settlement. The directive aims to end the EPA’s notorious “sue and settle” scheme, which was used by past administrations (notably the Obama administration) to enact major environmental policy changes on a quicker timeframe than typically statutorily allowed . But what is “sue and settle”, and why was this directive considered a major change by regulatory law experts?