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Compliance and Enforcement Annual Results 2011 Fiscal Year

Program Highlights

Compliance Monitoring

In FY 2011 EPA conducted approximately 19,000 inspections, evaluations and 177 investigations1. There are other additional compliance monitoring tools such as information requests which are not quantified here.

EPA monitored compliance with 33 programs, e.g., storm water, mobile sources, under eight separate and distinct environmental laws, e.g., Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act.

The inspections, evaluations, and investigations performed were split between these 33 programs with some programs having more activity, and other programs less based on:

  • environmental risk;
  • observed non-compliance;
  • responses to citizen complaints; and
  • whether the activity should be addressed at the federal level

In addition, these activities aggressively targeted facilities and sites where pollution problems impacting human health and the environment were identified or observed. Inspections and investigations were conducted in response to national environmental problems including:

  • raw sewage and contaminated stormwater runoff in our waters,
  • animal waste threatening our surface and ground waters,
  • widespread air pollution from large sources,
  • toxic air pollution that affects communities’ health, and
  • pollution from mineral processing operations

Significant EPA Compliance Monitoring Activities Conducted in Fiscal Year 2011:

  • Inspections and Evaluations - The following significant inspections and evaluations were conducted:
    • 6,000 for drinking water regulations
    • 6,000 inspections to monitor compliance with drinking water regulations
    • 3,600 evaluations conducted to monitor compliance with clean air regulations
    • 3,400 inspections conducted to monitor compliance with clean water regulations
    • 1,600 inspections conducted to monitor compliance with underground storage tank regulations
    • 1,600 inspections conducted to monitor compliance with hazardous waste regulations
    •    900 inspections conducted to monitor compliance with emergency planning and reporting regulations
    •    400 inspections conducted to monitor compliance with pesticide regulations

Investigations - Of the 177 comprehensive civil investigations conducted:

  • 161 were conducted under the clean air statute,
  •   11 under the clean water statute,
  •    2 under the hazardous waste statute,
  •    3 under the toxic substances statute

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Compliance Assistance

Compliance Assistance Centers

Through collaborative partnerships between EPA, industry, academic institutions, and environmental groups, 17 Web-based Compliance Assistance Centers Exit EPA Disclaimer have been launched. Each EPA-funded Center addresses real world issues in terminology familiar to the regulated entities. In fiscal year 2011, the Centers experienced over 3.5 million user sessions.

Compliance Assistance Centers Activity Trends
chart from 1998 to 2011 showing visits per year to EPA Compliance Assistance Centers

In addition, during 2011 the Centers expanded their collaborative relationships with industry and launched three new Web sites:

Compliance Assistance Efforts to Address Water Impacts from Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO)

EPA Region 3 developed a CAFO compliance outreach strategy to complement its farm inspection protocol in coordination with Pennsylvania and the states compromising the Delmarva Peninsula (Delaware, Maryland and Virginia).

With input obtained during informational meetings across the states, the Region developed environmental compliance fact sheets and self assessment guides for CAFO operators. The compliance information addresses, in part, what facilities are considered CAFOs, examples of a CAFO "discharge" and when CAFOs need to apply for a permit. Region 3 is working with each state to modify the compliance material to account for facility design and local topography. For example, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality will address the specific needs of the 800 poultry farms in the state. Pennsylvania will adapt the material for use by farmers located in Lancaster County.

In addition, Region 3 presented an EPA CAFO Mock Inspection featured during the Poultry and Nutrient Management Tours sponsored by the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension. Poultry farmers who attended were invited to tour an on-site poultry operation focusing on four different poultry operations.

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Footnotes:

  1. Inspections are a broad assessment of a facility's compliance status.
    Evaluations is what the Clean Air Act refers to as an inspection Investigations are more in-depth and complex than an inspections and focus on a specific aspect of a facility (return to text)

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