Massachusetts’ Top Court Interprets Long-Standing DEP Interpretation of “Willfulness” in the Administrative Penalties Act

Posted by Jane Ceraso, March 2014

It is rare that a high court gets into the weeds of on an agency’s interpretation of its own technical rules. Once authority has been properly delegated to an agency, courts generally defer to that agency’s decisions and administrative rulings. So it was somewhat unusual when this past September the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC), on its own motion, transferred Franklin Office Park Realty Corp. v. Comm’r of DEP, 466 Mass. 454 (2013) to itself, and issued an opinion that clarified the Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) long-standing interpretation of its own administrative penalty statute. Read More


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