When he was at the agency years ago, former EPA attorney Tim Whitehouse recalled reviewing proposals that were not well documented or did not provide a clear nexus.
“It gets tricky,” said Whitehouse, currently the executive director at Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. “The enforcement action ultimately has to maintain its deterrent value and that requires fines in many cases. That needs to be the core of any enforcement program.”
Despite the difficulties, many experts were surprised when the Biden administration took more than a year to reinstate SEPs, given their popularity and the fact it took the Biden White House mere hours to torpedo other Trump actions.