Wynne P. Kelly


As the U.S. government's reach and responsibilities expand, it remains unclear exactly what, if any, input the general populations of Afghanistan, Iraq, or the United States have on government actions. The environmental needs of the two States have concerned the world enough that the United Nations Environment Program ("UNEP") has published a detailed post-conflict report on Afghanistan ("Afghanistan PCA") and a "Desk Study" of the environment in Iraq ("Iraq Desk Study"). There are four basic ways that citizens can attempt either to enjoin U.S. government environmental action abroad or compel the government to adhere to established regulations and agreements: (1) private citizen or NGO suit under U.S. federal law; (2) private citizen or NGO suit under international law or one seeking to compel compliance with a treaty or agreement that the United States is party to; (3) suit by a non-U.S. national against the United States under a recognized treaty or against a U.S. corporation under ATCA; or (4) a qui tam action alleging fraudulent or illegal action by a party that costs the United States financially.