DOJ highlights landmark environmental wins, hints at what’s ahead

By Pamela King | 04/19/2024 01:41 PM EDT

The environment division’s fiscal 2023 report touts record fines and prosecutions heading into the Biden administration’s fourth year.

Todd Kim.

Todd Kim, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division, at his confirmation hearing. Francis Chung/E&E News

The Justice Department’s environment division is entering the final year of President Joe Biden’s first term with a record-breaking fine against a diesel engine maker that cheated emissions standards and a first-of-its-kind prosecution against a greenhouse gas smuggler.

There’s more to come in 2024 and beyond, DOJ’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, or ENRD, said in a new report published Friday.

ENRD “continues to serve a critical role in securing environmental justice and responding to the climate crisis, which are two of the administration’s top priorities,” said Todd Kim, assistant attorney general of DOJ’s environment division.


The report focuses on ENRD’s accomplishments in fiscal 2023, in which the division obtained more than $440 million in civil and criminal penalties. In the last fiscal year, ENRD also secured court orders related to environmental cleanup, compliance and pollution control that the division estimated are worth $2.3 billion.