The Public Interest

Environmentalism and bounty hunting

Michael S. Greve

Fall 1989

OVER THE PAST two decades, Congress has increasingly come to rely upon private enforcement of public laws. One manifestation of this trend is the increasing number and scope of environmental “citizen suit” provisions, which permit private parties who have suffered no particular injury to enforce laws as “private attorneys general.” With only one exception, all federal environmental statutes contain provisions that allow “any citizen” or “any person” to sue others for noncompliance. 

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