Maureen Gorsen Quoted in Law360
In the Press
February 8, 2012
Maureen Gorsen was quoted extensively in a Law360 article discussing upcoming challenges to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) enforcement powers. The challenges—if they come to bear—could force EPA to be more selective about how aggressively it pursues actions and new regulations.
One potential challenge is an upcoming ruling in Sackett v. EPA, by which the Supreme Court will decide if landowners can obtain judicial review of EPA compliance orders if the EPA hasn’t sued, potentially draining EPA resources. “It’s arguable that if a lot of people start availing themselves of this, you’ll see fewer enforcement cases overall,” said Gorsen. “You’d be able to go to court and say, ‘They’re implementing these regulations wrong.”
Two congressional bills also may serve to contain EPA’s regulatory power—“They’re saying they want a new check,” according to Gorsen. If passed, the impact could be substantial. “If it gets institutionalized . . . where you really have to go through a thorough review, then it could have a big effect. It’s a matter of the extent to which these are just a couple more straws or you’re adding an entire brick to the camel’s back.”
The new laws “could mean behavioral changes if it’s a real review,” she continued. “A lot of things will escape that way.”
“You could be looking at an EPA that will be involved in a lot more adjudicatory processes, with a lot more work being done by lawyers, not inspectors and staff.”