EPA Announces 2017-2019 Enforcement Initiatives

EPA reported it is expanding its initiative focused on reducing toxic air pollution by adding large storage tanks and hazardous waste facilities to its work to address public health threats.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced its seven National Enforcement Initiatives for fiscal years 2017-2019 on Feb. 18, saying theyh focus on national pollution challenges where EPA's enforcement efforts will protect public health. Starting on Oct. 1, 2016, EPA will retain four of its current National Enforcement Initiatives, add two new ones, and expand one to include a new area of focus. The seven are:

  • Keeping Industrial Pollutants Out of the Nation's Waters (new initiative)
  • Reducing Risks of Accidental Releases at Industrial and Chemical Facilities (new)
  • Cutting Hazardous Air Pollutants (expanded)
  • Reducing Air Pollution from the Largest Sources
  • Ensuring Energy Extraction Activities Comply with Environmental Laws
  • Keeping Raw Sewage and Contaminated Stormwater Out of the Nation's Waters
  • Preventing Animal Waste from Contaminating Surface and Groundwater

EPA reported it is expanding its initiative focused on reducing toxic air pollution by adding large storage tanks and hazardous waste facilities to its work to address public health threats.

"National Enforcement Initiatives help us focus time and resources on national pollution problems that impact Americans locally," said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for enforcement and compliance assurance at EPA. "These initiatives were chosen so we can better protect communities, especially those overburdened by pollution, and were informed by extensive analysis and public input. We remain committed to a vigorous enforcement program that reduces pollution and protects public health."

The agency selects National Enforcement Initiatives every three years and took public comments on this latest list. According to the agency, progress achieved to date includes:

  • More than 98 percent of cities with large combined sewer systems and more than 90 percent of cities with large sanitary sewer systems are under enforceable agreements or have permits that put them on a schedule to address untreated sewage discharges into waterways.
  • 59 percent of individual power generating units at coal-fired power plants have installed the required pollution controls or are under a court order to do so.
  • Since 2011, EPA has secured enforceable agreements to address violations at 539 facilities emitting toxic air pollution.
  • Since 2011, EPA has concluded 217 enforcement actions at concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) for violations of the Clean Water Act and 196 enforcement actions at natural gas extraction and production sites.

For more information about EPA enforcement results and statistics, visit this site.

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