Deadline Citizen Suits: An Idea Whose Time Has Expired

by William Yeatman on June 16, 2014

in Blog

An article I wrote was published last week in the Appalachian Natural Resources Law Journal. It’s titled “Deadline Citizen Suits: An Idea Whose Time Has Expired.” In it, I argue that Congress included two legislative innovations in the Clean Air Act of 1970–(1) deadlines and (2) citizen suits to enforce these deadlines–in order to achieve two ends: (1) limiting regulatory capture and (2) expanding participation in the regulatory process. However, in the ensuing decades, these statutory means, far from achieving their intended purpose, have instead engendered the very problems they were originally intended to mitigate. EPA’s chronic non-performance of its non-discretionary, date-certain duties has facilitated deadline citizen suits establishing virtually all of the agency’s priorities. By this dynamic, EPA’s regulatory initiative has been captured by environmental special interests. These green groups, moreover, exhibit many of the characteristics, including a revolving door and also heavy political spending, that were attendant to the “capture” of New Deal regulatory agencies by industry. Below, I’ve posted a copy.


Deadline Citizen Suits: An Idea Whose Time Has Expired


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