On February 18th, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its seven National Enforcement Initiatives for fiscal years 2017-2019. These initiatives are selected every three years by the EPA to “focus resources on national environmental problems where there is significant non-compliance with laws, and where federal enforcement efforts can make a difference”.
Out of the seven chosen initiatives, four are retained from the current set, one is expanded from the current set, and two are new. The four being retained and the one expansion are:
- Reducing Air Pollution from the Largest Sources
- Ensuring Energy Extraction Activities Comply with Environmental Laws
- Keeping Raw Sewage and Contaminated Stormwater Out of Our Nation’s Waters
- Preventing Animal Waste from Contaminating Surface and Ground Water
- Cutting Hazardous Air Pollutants (Expanded Initiative)
The two new enforcement initiatives include:
- Reducing Risks of Accidental Releases at Industrial and Chemical Facilities
- Keeping Industrial Pollutants Our of the Nation’s Waters
These initiatives will begin on October 1, 2016 and continue through three fiscal years. They were chosen with input from the public and stakeholders across EPA’s state, local, and tribal agency partners.
“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.”