Supplemental Environmental Projects to Settle Citizen Suits Under the Clean Water Act
Stevens, Michael P.
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In a negotiated settlement of a citizen suit for alleged violations of the Clean Water Act, the parties may agree that the alleged violator can fund a supplemental environmental project (SEP) to improve the environment in the area where the alleged violation occurred. The use of SEPS in negotiated settlements has been validated by the courts and has gained acceptance by the Environmental Protection Agency, provided that the settlement includes a penalty paid to the U.S. Treasury and there is a relationship between the alleged violation and the SEP. A 1994 negotiated settlement of a citizen suit in Georgia included SEPs to restock fisheries, develop pollution prevention measures, and study water quality in the affected river.