NELC challenges regulations written by the EPA and other agencies if they fail to fulfill the requirements of environmental statutes such as the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act.

To help ensure that the nation’s environmental laws are fully and fairly implemented, NELC sues to seek judicial review of agency regulations, and of agency failures to regulate, winning court orders that direct the agency to apply the law as intended by Congress.

For example, NELC challenged a Bush-era EPA regulation stating that pesticides sprayed into water – either intentionally, to control aquatic organisms, or unintentionally, from aerial spray drift – need not be regulated under the Clean Water Act. NELC successfully argued that the Clean Water Act requires oversight, and the EPA was subsequently charged with creating regulations to protect our waterways from aquatic pesticides.

Conversely, NELC will intervene in defense of strong existing or proposed environmental regulations when special interest groups attempt to thwart or weaken them.