by Brittany Tofinchio Palmer
After several months, initial publication in the Federal Register, and after receiving comments, the EPA announced seven National Enforcement Initiatives for 2017-2019 on February 18, 2016. Four previous initiatives have been retained, two are new, and one previous initiative has been expanded. The Initiatives are as follows with the two new ones listed first:
1. Keeping industrial pollutants from entering the nation’s waters;
2. Reducing the risks of accidental releases at industrial and chemical facilities;
3. Reducing hazardous air pollutants; a. This initiative has been expanded by adding focus to large storage tanks and hazardous waste facilities.
4. Reducing air pollution from the largest sources;
5. Ensuring energy extraction activities are in compliance with environmental laws;
6. Preventing raw sewage and contaminated stormwater from entering the nation’s waters; and
7. Preventing animal waste from contaminating surface and groundwater.
These Initiatives constitute the EPA’s top enforcement priorities for the next three years. Industry can expect increased enforcement in the above areas beginning October 1, 2016, when the new Initiative cycle begins.