WASHINGTON D.C. – In a recent year end report detailing annual enforcement and compliance results, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through enforcement of regulation, and compliance actions forced polluters to pay more than $110 million in civil penalties and commit to spend an estimated $12 billion on pollution controls, cleanup, and environmental projects that benefit communities. The total accumulated effect of all enforcement, and subsequent reductions in emissions due to infrastructure improvements is expected to prevent the release of nearly 1.4 Billion pounds.
“At EPA, we are dedicated to aggressively go after pollution problems that make a difference in our communities through vigorous civil and criminal enforcement,” stated Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “Our commitment to environmental enforcement is grounded in the knowledge that people not only desire, but expect, the protection of the water they drink, the air they breathe and the communities they call home.”
EPA Activities In 2010
Enforcement of the Clean Air Act provisions, are expected o alone account for the reduction of of approximately 400 Million pounds of air pollution per year. It is estimated that those reductions will save between $6.2 Billion and $15 Billion each year in health care costs. Additionally through FY (Fiscal Year) 2010 EPA actions have ensured that over 1 Billion pounds of water pollution will be reduced, eliminated or handled properly, and approximately $8 Billion in investigates will be made in pollution control and environmental improvement projects. EPA’s civil enforcement actions also led to commitments to treat, minimize or properly dispose of more than an estimated 11.8 billion pounds of hazardous waste.
EPA Criminal Enforcement
With diligent effort to vigorously prosecute accused environmental criminals, the EPA in FY 2010 opened 346 new environmental crime cases. The results are that 289 defendants were charged with committing environmental crimes, with 198 being convicted a$41 Million being levied in fines and restitution.
Interactive Data Access Tools Increase Transparency.
This year’s annual results include an enhanced mapping tool that allows the public to view detailed information about the enforcement actions taken at more than 4,500 facilities that concluded in FY 2010 on an interactive map of the United States and its territories. The map shows facilities and sites where civil and criminal enforcement actions were taken for alleged violations of U.S. environmental laws regulating air, water, and land pollution. The mapping tool also displays community-based activities like the locations of the environmental justice grants awarded in FY 2010 and the Environmental Justice Showcase Communities.
The release of the EPA’s enforcement and compliance results and the accompanying mapping tool are part of EPA’s commitment to transparency. They are intended to improve public access to data and provide the public with tools to demonstrate EPA’s efforts to protect human health and the environment in communities across the nation.