Document Type

Litigation Update

Publication Date

Summer 2003


On June 24, 2003, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals declared the Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA”) authority to issue legally binding administrative compliance orders (“ACOs”) unconstitutional. This decision could foreshadow a broader movement to weaken EPA’s ability to enforce the broad range of environmental and public health statutes that it is responsible for implementing. While this decision undermines EPA’s ability to enforce ACOs, it does not leave EPA completely helpless to enforce environmental laws.