The USEPA recently published its 2015 enforcement statistics for fiscal year 2015. See http://www.epa.gov/enforcement/enforcement-annual-results-fiscal-year-fy-2015. The USEPA enforcement actions resulted in a total of $404,000,000.00 in penalties and fines. Add to that the $7,000,000,000.00 in added control pollution and remediation and $39,000,000.00 in environmental mitigation projects, it seemed like a pretty good year for USEPA enforcement.
The real trend of interest for some of us is that criminal investigations is that fewer inspections and evaluations take place for yet another year, environmental crime cases opened and defendants charged are also down. Does the fact that the USEPA is significantly below the Congressionally mandated number of criminal investigators contribute to this? Does the morale and training of the criminal investigators contribute to this? The short answer is yes and no, and there is virtually no way to determine the real answer.
The fact that there is less enforcement is of no comfort if you are one of the persons/entities being investigated. That process is a true roller coaster ride of real life.
Peruse the USEPA statistics and public information and draw your own conclusions.
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