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While U.S. national elections are still three months away and inauguration day isn’t for well over six months, current national and battleground state polling suggests that a change in Administration seems more likely than not. Companies asking themselves how to maximize their readiness for a change should consider looking closely at their environmental compliance efforts.
The challengers’ presumptive nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden, has offered expansive ideas on addressing climate change and on other environmental programs, most of which will take months or years to bring to fruition through legislation or regulation, if at all. One opportunity for pursuing enhanced environmental protection and a visible separation from the current Administration available to a new President on the day he takes office, however, would be a directive to acting officials at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other federal environmental agencies to ramp up their environmental enforcement efforts under existing environmental laws. Numerous articles have pointed to a slowdown in new enforcement actions and to declining penalties and other enforcement metrics in recent years. And, indeed, presumptive nominee Biden has specifically criticized sharply declining criminal environmental prosecutions under the current Administration.
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