The Attorney General’s Office enforces environmental laws that protect our air and water, preserve our wetlands, tidelands, and public open space, require the clean-up of contaminated sites, and govern the use of pesticides and the handling and disposal of solid and hazardous waste. The Office works closely with various state and federal agencies, especially the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, and works jointly with DEP and Environmental Police to investigate and prosecute environmental crimes through the Environmental Strike Force. Civil enforcement suits are handled by the Attorney General’s Environmental Protection Division.
The Environmental Protection Division pursues three main types of work:
- Prosecuting civil enforcement and cost recovery cases, seeking to produce the greatest results in terms of compliance and deterrence, environmental and public health benefits, and financial recovery;
- Handling defensive cases, seeking to provide effective representation to support the policy choices made by state agencies and officials in implementing our environmental protection laws; and
- Undertaking affirmative, non-enforcement work to develop and pursue innovative ways to further environmental protection exercising the Attorney General’s role as the Commonwealth’s chief law officer. This includes bringing “impact litigation,” participating as an amicus to help develop the law in a way that will further the Commonwealth’s interests; developing or supporting legislative or other policy proposals; intervening, where appropriate, in siting disputes; and entering into Brownfields liability agreements to further the clean-up and redevelopment of contaminated sites.