This bill merely furthers the GOP's relentless attack on &, attempt to, destroy the regulatory state, demonstrates it's utter disdain for our climate &, the public's health &, safety &, shameless attempts to dissuade individuals & agencies from filing suit requiring agencies to enact public health & safety regulations &, any related legal relief/damages. It's telling that there is &, hasn't been any reference or mention of the related EPA directive Pruitt released last week, which is imposes additional procedural hurdles the EPA must satisfy prior to settling a lawsuit. Most notably the shift in the EPA’s position that it NOW WILL SEEK EXCLUDE THE PAYMENT OF ATTORNEY’S FEES &, COSTS OF SETTLING PLAINTIFFS. Although many environmental statutes permit courts to award attorney’s fees & costs to a prevailing or substantially prevailing party when “appropriate,” which courts have often interpreted to include parties who achieve the aims of their lawsuit through settlement. Clearly, Pruitt's EPA intends to fight this general policy, which only means, that plaintiffs who elect to sue will incur additional attorney's fees &, costs because they will be forced to battle with the EPA over attorney’s fees in the years ahead.
As with all the environmental health &, safety regulations Trump &, the GOP have repealed, they continue telling serial lies regarding the regulations alleged executive branch overreach &/or alleged enormous, yet in reality, nominal cost it imposes on corporations, which by extension, prevents these corporations whose effective tax rate already is less than 20%, from creating new jobs, hiring &/or increasing wages. The GOP Controlled Congress fully is aware that since 1986, a memorandum issued by then-Attorney General Edwin Meese has generally prohibited federal agencies from entering settlements or consent decrees that a court would lack authority to impose or that would turn discretionary duties into mandatory duties; as such this Bill &, the EPA's new Directive are duplicative. Both do nothing other than lengthen the settlement process, which attorneys understand, in practice, is an indication that Pruitt’s EPA will be less inclined than previous administrations to settle litigation regarding EPA’s failure to meet statutory deadlines or comply with other statutory mandates.