EPA projects a one billion pound
loss of pollution from enforcement actions taken in 2004
Chicago, IL— EPA enforcement actions concluded in
fiscal year 2004 will reduce a projected one billion pounds of pollution
and require cleanups estimated to total a record $4.8 billion, a significant
increase from last year. Almost every other annual measure of the Agency’s
enforcement and compliance activity such as the number of inspections
(up 11 percent from FY 2003) and investigations (up 32 percent from
FY 2003) surpassed or kept pace with previous years, indicating continued
progress in deterring violations of the nation’s environmental
laws and reflecting an emphasis on environmental benefits and compliance.
“EPA’s enforcement strategy is focused on
what matters most: achieving real environmental improvements that benefit
everyone,” said Tom Skinner, EPA acting assistant administrator
for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “We are
getting significant, real-world pollution reductions through mechanisms
like injunctive relief pushing companies to install more effective pollution
controls - and supplemental environmental projects, which improve the
environment and public health both nationwide and close to home.”
FY 2004 Enforcement and Compliance Accomplishments:
•Pollution Reductions Increase 67 Percent–
As a result of cleanup commitments reached in FY 2004, EPA estimates
that one billion pounds of pollution will be reduced, treated, or properly
managed, an increase of 67 percent from last year.
•Record-Breaking Injunctive Relief Increases 66 Percent–
The estimated dollar value of compliance actions required by EPA in
FY 2004 will total $4.8 billion – a new EPA record and a 66 percent
increase from FY 2003.
•Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs) Increase 42 Percent–
EPA obtained 213 SEPs in FY 2004 – a 42 percent increase compared
to FY 2003’s 150 SEPs. The dollar value of SEPs in FY 2004 was
$48 million, compared to FY 2003’s $65 million. Of the 213 SEPs
in FY 2004, 26 will be performed in environmental justice communities.
SEPs are environmentally beneficial projects that a violator voluntarily
agrees to perform as part of an enforcement settlement. SEPs go beyond
what is required of a violator to return to compliance with environmental
•Compliance Incentive Program Addresses 14 Percent More Facilities–
Under EPA’s Compliance Incentive Program, the number of facilities
resolving self-disclosed violations increased 14 percent in FY 2004
to 969 – up from 848 in FY 2003.
•Compliance Assistance Reaches More Than 730,000– EPA data
shows that 731,000 businesses and individuals received assistance from
EPA in FY 2004 to help understand and comply with environmental laws.
EPA compliance assistance reached 721,000 in FY 2003.
•EPA Final Administrative Penalty Orders Increase 32 Percent–
EPA finalized 2,248 civil administrative penalty actions in FY 2004
– up 32 percent over 1,706 in FY 2003.
•Inspections and Evaluations to Determine Compliance Increase
11 Percent– In FY 2004, EPA conducted 21,000 inspections, up from
FY 2003 with 18,880.
•Civil Investigations Increase 32 Percent– In FY 2004, EPA
initiated 455 civil investigations, a 32 percent increase over the 344
investigations in FY 2003.
•Facilities Disclosing Environmental Violations Double–
In FY 2004, 1223 facilities self-disclosed environmental violations
to EPA. In FY 2003 there were 614 facilities that self-disclosed violations.
•EPA Charges 46 more Criminal Defendants- EPA enforcement charged
293 defendants with environmental crimes in FY 2004, 46 more defendants
than in FY 2003.