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The Role of the EPA in Environmental Law

EPA's Role in Environmental Law

The Environmental Protection Agency,1 often referred to as the EPA, is a federal agency that is tasked with protecting the environment and human health by writing and enforcing regulations that are promulgated pursuant to federal law. The agency is divided into 10 regional offices, with the Pacific Northwest and Alaska falling under the purview of EPA Region 10. While environmental law comes from a variety of sources and is enforced by multiple agencies, the EPA plays a significant role in the administration of environmental law throughout the United States. Below is some information about the role the EPA plays in U.S. environmental law. For more information or for legal advice regarding a specific situation, call the Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess today to schedule an appointment with an environmental law lawyer.

Environmental regulations        

Like most federal agencies, the EPA’s rulemaking authority comes from a legislative grant of power issued by the United States Congress. The rules issued by the agency have the force of law and can be found in Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations.2 The regulations issued by the EPA relate to air quality, water quality, ozone lawyer protection, asbestos, oil spills, the use of pesticides, solid and hazardous waste, hydraulic fracturing, chemical emissions, as well as a variety of other environmental issues.

Enforcement activities

In addition to issuing regulations related to a variety of environmental issues, the EPA also engages in enforcement activities ranging from compliance assistance to administrative or criminal enforcement actions. In addition, the EPA can initiate a civil lawsuit in federal court to compel enforcement from parties through the United States Department of Justice.

Regulations and EPA enforcement actions can be challenged

Importantly, parties who are subject to EPA regulations and enforcement actions can challenge the agency’s actions in a number of ways. The laws that apply to challenging administrative actions can be extremely complicated, so it is highly advisable for anyone affected by an agency action to retain legal counsel immediately.

Contact a Tacoma environmental law lawyer today to schedule a free case evaluation

Individuals or businesses who are involved in a legal dispute with the EPA or who simply have questions about how environmental regulations may affect them, should discuss their options with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. To schedule an appointment with one of our experienced Tacoma environmental law attorneys, call the Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess today at 253-572-1000 or send us an email at