On March 23 2018 Susan Bodine, assistant administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA), issued to staff a memorandum establishing an interim process for providing her with early notice of referral of matters to the Department of Justice (DOJ) for civil judicial enforcement. The memorandum requests that EPA case teams contemplating a DOJ referral brief the relevant regional administrator (for region-led cases) or the assistant administrator (for headquarters-led cases) before making the referral. For region-led cases, the memorandum directs the regions to provide existing briefing materials – along with the regional administrator's position on the referral – to the assistant administrator. The memorandum also permits the assistant administrator to request copies of final referrals before the EPA transmits the referral to the DOJ. The memorandum applies to all civil enforcement cases other than those under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, which the OECA intends to address separately. The OECA plans to revisit the new policy later in 2018, when its new national case status information system is in operation.
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