Wednesday, January 23, 2013

EPA Solicits Comments: National Enforcement Initiatives

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is soliciting public comment and recommendations on National Enforcement Initiatives to be undertaken in fiscal years (FY) 2014-2016. EPA is inviting interested Environmental Justice (EJ) stakeholders to comment on extending the current six national enforcement initiatives (See Background) for the FY 2014-2016 cycle. EJ stakeholders are also invited to propose new sectors or other important strategic areas for consideration.

A conference call is scheduled for January 28, 2013, 2:30 - 3:30 pm (EST). If you would like to participate, the dial-in number is: 1-866-299-3188; Conf. ID: 0872138#. If you have questions about the call, please contact: Michele McKeever in EPA's Office of Compliance, at 202-564-3688.
In preparing comments, please keep in mind that EPA will select a limited number of National Enforcement Initiatives (NEIs) for the FY 2014-2016 time period. Please note that EPA selects National Enforcement Initiatives taking into account Agency resource constraints and funding levels as well as criteria such as environmental impact, significant noncompliance, and appropriate federal role.


EPA protects people's health and safeguards communities by assuring compliance with the nation's environmental laws and by taking enforcement action when laws are violated. Every three years, EPA reviews the national enforcement initiatives to ensure that the Agency's civil and criminal enforcement resources and expertise are focused on the most serious pollution problems affecting communities. For the FY 2011-2013 time period, EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) has six National Enforcement Initiatives. These initiatives are:
  • Municipal Infrastructure - addressing sewage discharges from combined sewer systems, sanitary sewer systems, and municipal separate storm sewer systems;
  • Mineral Processing - addressing hazardous waste at phosphoric acid facilities and high risk mineral processing sites;
  • New Source Review - controlling emissions from coal fired utility sector, cement plants, glass plants, and acid production plants;
  • Air Toxics - addressing toxic emissions from high risk facilities by examining leak detection and repair (LDAR), flares, and excess emission sources;
  • Energy Extraction - addressing land-based natural gas extraction facilities, including corporate-wide evaluations; and
  • Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations - addressing animal waste discharges from large animal feeding facilities.
For more information on the current initiatives, full descriptions can be found on the EPA website.
For the FY 2014-2016 time period, EPA is considering retaining the current National Enforcement Initiatives. However, if a compelling non-compliance problem were identified that was of similar significance to the existing NEIs, then EPA could focus a national initiative on another sector or strategic area. As EPA begins to identify FY 2014-2016 National Enforcement Initiatives, the Agency is inviting input and information on three issues:
  • whether to extend the current six National Enforcement Initiatives for the 2014-2016 cycle;
  • whether new sectors or strategic areas are appropriate for consideration; and
  • whether current or new significant environmental problems in Indian country or affecting Indian country exist that are appropriate for consideration.
EPA will incorporate the selected National Enforcement Initiatives into the Final FY 2014 National Program Manager (NPM) Guidance. The Guidance is scheduled to be finalized in late April 2013. (EPA)

Information on the NPM Guidance.

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