Jump to main content or area navigation.

Contact Us

Compliance and Enforcement Annual Results 2011 Fiscal Year

Enforcement Results

Waste and Chemical
National Enforcement Initiatives

The National Enforcement Initiatives address more complex pollution problems, especially those confined to a particular sector or source type.

  • Reducing pollution from mineral processing operations

Learn more about the National Enforcement Initiatives

EPA's vigorous hazardous waste and toxics enforcement program targets the most serious waste and chemical hazards and protects people from exposure by:

  • Preventing releases of hazardous chemicals that threaten public health or the environment
  • Pressing for cleanup of hazardous waste sites in communities and ensuring when possible that the polluter pays for the cleanup
  • Ensuring pesticides are properly registered, labeled and used
  • Ensuring that new chemicals are reviewed for unreasonable risks
  • Improving transparency, expanding the conversation on environmentalism, and working for environmental justice by ensuring that communities are accurately informed about the releases to the environment that may impact their community
  • Ensuring renovation firms follow safe lead and asbestos abatement practices and schools have asbestos management plans
  • Ensuring companies properly manage and dispose of polychlorinated biphenyl's (PCBs)
  • Ensuring chemical and pesticide imports are compliant and safe to bring into the country

In 2011, EPA's hazardous waste enforcement program ensures that facilities that generate, store, treat or dispose of hazardous waste properly manage the waste and track it from the time it is generated until its ultimate disposal. The hazardous waste enforcement program also holds those responsible for hazardous waste sites accountable for cleanups or for reimbursing EPA for its cleanup efforts. 2011 was a record-setting year in which EPA obtained commitments totaling $3 billion from responsible parties for site study and cleanup of Superfund sites. EPA's cleanup enforcement program achieves prompt site cleanup and maximum liable party participation in performing and paying for cleanup in ways that promote environmental justice and fairness. (Read more on cleanup program highlights)

In 2011, EPA’s chemicals enforcement program protected human health and the environment by ensuring that: manufacturers submit notices before they manufacture chemicals so the Agency can determine whether the chemicals pose an unreasonable risk; renovation firms follow lead-safe practices; schools develop and maintain asbestos management plans; companies properly manage and dispose of polychlorinated biphenyl's (PCBs); TSCA chemical and pesticide imports are compliant and safe to bring into the country; and, companies register and properly label pesticides before they are sold.

EPA’s criminal enforcement program helped prosecute several private and public lead inspectors for crimes related to the lead-based paint regulations. The crimes included seeking bribes in exchange for falsely certifying that homes were lead-free and providing bogus lead paint abatement training, and falsifying testing reports in New York City and Detroit. While lead exposure can affect anyone, children aged six and younger are especially vulnerable to the health impacts of lead. Exposure to lead can cause learning disabilities, reduced IQ, developmental delays and behavioral problems in young children. (See: Summary of Criminal Prosecutions - Defendants: Patterson, Todaro, Sharpe) (See more criminal program highlights.)

In 2011, waste and chemical enforcement actions achieved estimated:

  • $3 billion in private party commitments for Superfund site study and cleanup, oversight & cost recovery
  • $370 million invested to improve environmental performance
  • $29 million, includes $900 thousand dollars in State penalties from joint Federal enforcement actions
  • $6.7 million in additional investments for supplemental environmental projects that benefit communities
  • 6.1 million pounds of hazardous waste treated, minimized, or properly disposed of
  • Protections from Hazardous waste: 3.6 billion pounds
  • 933,000,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil and water to be cleaned up

Jump to main content.