2017 â€“ 2019 EPA National Enforcement Initiatives
After more than five years, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced the new National Enforcement Initiatives which will ultimately direct the organizationâ€™s inspection and enforcement resources. Â In general, the EPA has concluded there is significant non-compliance, therefore these initiatives reflect where its enforcement efforts can be most beneficial to human health and our environment.
The EPAâ€™s Next Generation Compliance, shifts the reporting responsibility to industries by requiring companies, states and other entities to report compliance data electronically, which is why companies today need web-based compliance software.
While pursuing these initiatives, the EPA stated it will use next generation compliance strategies such as emissions and pollutant detection technology, electronic reporting, and permitting, in addition to using innovative enforcement methods like data analytics and targeting.
Starting in the fiscal year of October of 2016 the EPA will pursue the following enforcement initiatives, retaining four of its current National Enforcement Initiatives, while adding two new initiatives, and expanding one to include a new area of focus. The effort will continue for three fiscal years.
Following the initiatives include:
- Reducing air pollution from the largest sources.
- Cutting hazardous air pollutants(An expanded initiative for FY 2017 – 2019) by expanding the current EPA enforcement initiative for toxic air pollution emissions.
- Ensuring energy extraction activities comply with environmental laws, with focus to energy extraction activities, focusing on the natural gas sector.
Â HAZARDOUS CHEMICALS
- Reducing pollution from mineral processing operations (Returning to base program level in FY 2017)
- Reducing the risk of accidental releases at industrial and chemical facilities (A new initiative for FY 2017 – 2019)
- Keeping industrial pollutants (raw sewage and contaminated Stormwater) out of the nationâ€™s waters. Enforcement efforts will focus on unpermitted raw sewage and storm water discharges that threaten water quality.
- Preventing animal waste from contaminating both surface and ground water. The EPA will target violations at concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) that impair natural resources or adversely impact communities.
- Keeping industrial pollutants outÂ of the nationâ€™s watersÂ (New initiative for FY17-19)
This EPA enforcement announcement comes after yet another year of reduced federal inspections due to a declining budget. State enforcement trends might be influenced by these initiatives, since the EPA will include these new enforcement initiatives in an update to the National Program Manager Guidances, which go out the national tribes and states.
If you are a company with activities that fall under any of the above enforcement initiatives then you need to be advised that the EPA will probably be increasing its scrutiny of compliance issues including: more scrutiny of reported monitoring data, target of inspection resources on facilities falling within the scope of the enforcement initiatives.
ProComplianceWare (PCW) can assist your company in preparing for more rigorous EPA regulatory compliance requirements. For as little as $250 per month, PCW ensures ongoing facilitiesâ€™â€™ performance improvement such as overall practices, procedures and resources for developing and implementing â€“ along with reviewing and maintaining a companyâ€™s policies. PCW ensures compliance so that you wonâ€™t be fined for non-compliance.
The EPA suggests that any regulated industry would benefit from identifying and correcting any violations in advance of EPA attention and working with counsel to evaluate whether violations should be self-reported.
For more information on how PCW could assist your organization with these new compliance regulations, simply Fill out the form here or call 1-800-832-8503.