On February 18, 2016, the USEPA announced its seven “National Enforcement Initiatives” for the 2017 through 2019 fiscal years. Five of the initiatives are hold-overs (one expands its focus, however) and two are new. The National Enforcement Initiatives are:
- Keeping Industrial Pollutants Out of the Nation’s Waters (new initiative)
- Reducing Risks of Accidental Releases at Industrial and Chemical Facilities (new initiative)
- Cutting Hazardous Air Pollutants (expanded initiative)
- 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 Ground WaterThe top enforcement priority is to protect safe drinking water, and three of the initiatives include a focus on keeping pollutants out of drinking water sources.
The top enforcement priority is to protect safe drinking water, and three of the initiatives include a focus on keeping pollutants out of drinking water sources. The USEPA selects National Enforcement Initiatives every three years in an attempt to focus its resources on problems where there is significant non-compliance with laws.
The National Enforcement Initiative that focused USEPA enforcement on reducing pollution from mineral processing operations will return to the base enforcement program level. The USEPA also reiterated its enforcement statistics which can be viewed here: https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/enforcement-annual-results-fiscal-year-fy-2015.
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