Lawmakers want investigation into EPA’s ‘sue and settle’ practices

The EPA has come under fire from conservatives, who question agency lawsuit settlements that trigger new regulations. Critics say the practice allows environmental groups to coerce the agency into setting policy as a result of the litigation.

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Upton (R-Mich.), along with Reps. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) and Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.), are requesting that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) launch a probe into the practice, saying they are worried about the decisions being made behind closed doors.

“In many instances, EPA has entered into settlements or consent decrees committing the agency to undertake significant new rulemakings subject to specific timelines or schedules, including rulemakings that may result in substantial new compliance costs,” the trio said in a joint statement.

The lawmakers sent a letter to U.S. Comptroller General Gene Dodaro, who oversees the GAO, requesting the investigation.