By Nick Goldstein, vice president of regulatory affairs & assistant general counsel, ARTBA

New Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt is signaling an end to the agency’s longstanding practice of “sue and settle” arrangements with anti-growth organizations.

The term refers to when these groups file litigation against a federal agency, then quickly reach a settlement where new, often cumbersome, regulations are initiated on an expedited timeframe.  Often, the regulated communities most impacted by the new rules are not given a voice in crafting the settlement.

“There is a time and place to sometimes resolve litigation,” Pruitt said in a Feb. 17 interview with The Wall Street Journal. “But don’t use the judicial process to bypass accountability.”

He added, “Regulation through litigation is simply wrong.”

ARTBA-supported legislation to end “sue and settle” practices passed the House of Representatives early last year, but it has yet to be addressed by the new Congress that took office in January.