More EPA Compliance Enforcement is on the Way

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson announced that the agency is stepping up its efforts on Clean Water Act enforcement.

The plan announced outlines how the agency will strengthen the way it addresses the water pollution challenges of this century.  These challenges include pollution caused by numerous, dispersed sources, such as concentrated animal feeding operations, sewer overflows, contaminated water that flows from industrial facilities, construction sites, and runoff from urban streets.

The goals of the plan are to target enforcement to the most significant pollution problems, improve transparency and accountability by providing the public with access to better data on the water quality in their communities, and strengthen enforcement performance at the state and federal levels.

Elements of the plan include the following:

  • Develop more comprehensive approaches to ensure enforcement is targeted to the most serious violations and the most significant sources of pollution.
  • Work with states to ensure greater consistency throughout the country with respect to compliance and water quality.  Ensure that states are issuing protective permits and taking enforcement to achieve compliance and remove economic incentives to violate the law.
  • Use 21st century information technology to collect, analyze and use information in new, more efficient ways and to make that information readily accessible to the public.

More information on the plan: http://www.epa.gov/compliance/civil/cwa/cwaenfplan.html

Identifying and correcting potential compliance issues ahead of EPA’s actions would likely prove a wise use of resources given the current enforcement/penalty trends.

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