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Government Accounting Office Report Shows Limited Cost of Environmental Litigation
Center for Biological Diversity
WASHINGTON— A report released on March 26 by the Government Accountability Office (see PDF) demonstrates that litigation brought by environmental groups is not the calamity-inducing threat to the National Forest system that House Republicans have repeatedly claimed for the past three years. The GAO’s analysis shows that from 2001 to 2010, fees awarded in 16 successful lawsuits brought because of violations of the Endangered Species Act amounted to $1.6 million. By contrast, the U.S. Department of Agriculture paid $13.5 million in attorney’s fees to citizen plaintiffs for violations related to the Civil Rights Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. The GAO report noted that the USDA needed to keep better track of fee awards, but did not identify environmental litigation as a problem.

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