Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee, released a new report compiled by committee staff, “Rule of Law? Not So Much. Scott Pruitt’s Losing Litigation Record at the EPA,” that highlights the growing legal challenges to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt’s deregulatory efforts and his losing legal record. More than 140 lawsuits have been filed against EPA either because the Pruitt EPA has failed to meet statutory deadlines, or in response to efforts by Administrator Pruitt to repeal regulations, delay their implementation or deny the public access to agency information. EPA has also been formally put on notice that nearly three-dozen other lawsuits could be filed any day, and more lawsuits are expected as EPA finalizes pending rulemaking proposals.
The report highlights the lawsuits filed against Pruitt’s EPA, which cover a broad range of issues, including Pruitt’s efforts to unlawfully delay the implementation of air, water and chemical safety rules promulgated by the Obama Administration:
- Approximately 66 cases have been filed regarding the Pruitt EPA’s alleged failures to comply with government transparency and ethics rules. Of those 66, approximately 21 have resulted in a court order or otherwise reached resolution, with EPA prevailing in only one of the 21 (on procedural, not substantive grounds) – a litigation “success” rate of about 5%.
- Approximately 79 cases have been filed regarding the Pruitt EPA’s environmental regulatory actions.
- Of the 6 cases involving Pruitt EPA actions that have had a court fully review them, EPA lost four cases and succeeded in delaying arguments on the fifth, and got another dismissed as moot after EPA rectified the alleged legal deficiency.
The full report can be found in PDF form here.