This chapter examines how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) uses alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods to help resolve complex environmental disputes. In recent years, the EPA's use of ADR has increased dramatically in a wide variety of settings. The EPA has made ADR a central feature of its environmental enforcement strategy, encouraged its use in Title VI and environmental justice conflict settings, and turned to negotiated rulemaking as an alternative to the cumbersome notice-and-comment process for the development of new federal regulations. Other EPA programs, such as the Brownfields Economic Redevelopment Initiative, promote nonadversarial methods for tackling complex environmental problems. This chapter focuses on environmental enforcement actions, where the EPA has made considerable progress toward a goal of making ADR a regular part of its enforcement strategy.

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



The ABA Section of Admin Law and Regulatory Practice