Filing a Complaint Private Enforcement

If you are being affected by environmental contamination, you can ask the appropriate federal or state agency to begin an enforcement case against the responsible party.  But using agencies to enforce justice for you may appear deceptively easy. In practice, it can be very challenging and take an unexpectedly long time, for any of the following reasons:

  • The agency’s resources are stretched thin
  • The agency may not understand what you are trying to say
  • You might file your complaint with the wrong agency
  • The agency doesn’t have time to fully investigate every tip
  • Making a complaint may put you in the agency’s line of fire

You may also have the right to privately enforce environmental laws by suing the responsible party in state or federal court. Some, but not all, state and federal statutes allow private enforcement.


Retaining your own qualified environmental legal counsel to help you identify the best option for your unique situation, and then develop the best private enforcement strategy for your case, is a worthwhile investment of your time and money. Mark McPherson is experienced in helping clients file and pursue private enforcement actions involving air, waste, and water contaminations.


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