EPA Releases 2009 Environmental Compliance Enforcement Action Record

Epa_logo EPA has released its 2009 Compliance Enforcement Actionsrecord. EPA’s site also includes an interactive mapping tool which allows the public to search and identify federal environmental enforcement actions in any geographic area.  The site allows searches by environmental media (air, water, land and cross-media) and by location. Significant enforcement actions taken by EPA in 2009 in the Lehigh Valley included a multi-facility enforcement action against several Lehigh County municipal sewage facilities for sewer overflow violations. Also noteworthy was the criminal prosecution of Atlantic States Cast Iron Pipe Co., Phillipsburg, NJ in the longest federal trial in environmental crimes history. The corporation and four managers were convicted of engaging in an eight-year conspiracy to pollute the air and Delaware River in violation of the federal Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, expose its employees to dangerous conditions, and impede and obstruct federal regulatory and criminal investigations.

In 2009 (FY), EPA concluded civil and criminal enforcement actions requiring polluters to invest an estimated $5.4 billion to reduce pollution, clean up contaminated land and water, achieve compliance and fund environmentally beneficial projects. Civil and criminal defendants committed to reduce pollution by approximately 570 million pounds annually once all required controls are fully implemented.

EPA’s top Clean Air Act enforcement actions during FY 2009 reduced approximately 230 million pounds of sulfur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) per year when all the required pollution controls are in place, resulting in estimated health benefits of between $4 billion to $9.8 billion. See more on civil enforcement.

In FY 2009, EPA opened 387 new environmental crime cases, the largest number of criminal case initiations in five years. EPA also launched the Fugitive Web Sitein fiscal year 2009, which assisted in the capture or surrender of five fugitives. See more on criminal enforcement.

EPA obtained $371 million from settlements with responsible parties to reimburse EPA for its past expenditures for cleaning up Superfund sites. This is the highest cost recovered ever for the Superfund program. See more on the Superfund program.

In FY 2009, EPA concluded 51 enforcement actions against federal agencies and federal facility contractors for alleged violations of environmental laws. These actions will prevent more than 13 million pounds of pollutants from being released into the environment. See more on federal facilities.

In addition, this year EPA began major initiatives to remediate pollution of the Chesapeake Bayand provide information about enforcement of the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Actand the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).

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