Josh Van Eaton Quoted in Article on Increased EPA Clean Air Act Enforcement spoke with Principal Josh Van Eaton (Washington, DC) on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)'s recent aggressive Clean Air Act (CAA) enforcement. Josh discussed these developments and provided an outlook on the potential impacts of David Uhlmann, Assistant Administrator for EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, and his tenure in, "$2B Settlement in Cummins Environmental Probe Signals End to Era of Lax Enforcement."

After years of lax CAA enforcement, EPA and the U.S. Department of Justice pursued a suit alleging that diesel-engine maker Cummins installed emissions-control-defeat devices in over 600,000 Dodge Ram pickup trucks. Ending in a $1.675 billion civil penalty, this is the second-largest environmental penalty ever, and the largest under the CAA. Josh explains, "that type of number gets a general counsel’s attention, it sends a signal the EPA is making an example of someone. Make sure your house is in order." 

The Cummins settlement speaks to Uhlmann's vision for EPA's enforcement and compliance initiatives in 2024 and beyond, demonstrating his commitment to ensuring companies pay the price in enforcement proceedings. A B&D news alert states, "[Uhlmann] may set in motion the most aggressive enforcement that industry has seen in many years,” particularly for greenhouse gas emitters in communities facing environmental justice concerns.

Nearly two-thirds of B&D’s lawyers have prior U.S. state or federal government experience, including many who served in enforcement-focused roles at U.S. EPA and DOJ. We counsel clients on high-stakes enforcement and compliance matters in all environmental media (air, water, waste, chemicals, contaminated properties), particularly in complex environmental investigations and in conducting audits and other compliance risk assessments. For more information, please contact the authors or members of our Enforcement or Air & Climate Change practice teams.