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Enforcement actions improve environment

Release Date: 11/15/2007
Contact Information: Art Palomares, 303-312-6053, palomares.art@epa.gov Mike Risner, 303-312-6890, risner.michael@epa.gov

EPA Region 8 secures compliance with laws

(Denver, Colo., Nov. 15, 2007) – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 8 enforcement and compliance activities in fiscal year 2007 resulted in legal commitments by companies, governments and other regulated entities to reduce pollution by more than 28 million pounds. As a result, air is cleaner, water is purer, contaminated land is being cleaned up, discharges of sewage and other water pollutants have been reduced and wetlands are being protected.


EPA Region 8 Administrator Robert E. Roberts, said, “These accomplishments demonstrate that compliance with environmental laws is mandatory and leads to significant human health and environmental benefits.”

In fiscal year 2007, EPA Region 8 issued 95 Administrative Orders, 85 Administrative Penalty Orders and referred 18 cases to the Department of Justice. Concluded enforcement actions secured nearly $20 million in injunctive relief to correct violations and to restore and prevent future harm to human health and the environment. These actions also secured an additional sum of $563,848 in administrative and judicial penalties.

Cumulatively, Region 8 enforcement actions resulted in the cleanup of 441,080 cubic yards of contaminated soil; 473,555 cubic yards of contaminated water cleaned up; 700 stream miles cleaned up; 19 acres of wetlands being protected or restored; and 84,037 people receiving cleaner drinking water.

EPA also prevents pollution by helping the regulated community understand its environmental responsibilities. In 2007, EPA Region 8 secured private party commitments for site study and cleanup of $17,407,534 and private party commitments for cost recovery of $6,536,176.

EPA Region 8 includes the states of Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming and 27 sovereign Tribal Nations.

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Nationwide, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's enforcement program achieved historic results to protect the nation’s air, water, and land in fiscal year 2007. Industries, government agencies and other regulated entities agreed to spend a record $10.6 billion in pollution controls and environmental projects, exceeding the previous record of $10.2 billion set in 2005.

Over the last five years, EPA’s enforcement program has sustained a steady record of pollution reductions and commitments from regulated entities to install pollution controls. Since 2003, EPA’s enforcement activities have required companies to invest over $33 billion in pollution control equipment to achieve pollution reductions of nearly 4.5 billion pounds.


In FY 2007, EPA’s civil and criminal enforcement actions produced commitments to reduce pollutants by 890 million pounds. Nearly 70 percent of these reductions were achieved by addressing high-priority air and water pollution challenges. Air priority efforts achieved commitments to reduce 427 million pounds of pollutants, while water priority efforts achieved commitments to reduce 178 million pounds.


Enforcement actions taken in FY 2007 will produce significant health benefits. EPA’s 12 largest stationary source air enforcement cases will result in reducing over 500 million pounds of harmful air pollutants, with annual human health benefits estimated at $3.8 billion. These health benefits include reducing approximately 500 premature deaths in people with heart or lung disease, 50,000 fewer days of missed work or school, and 1,000 fewer hospital visits due to asthma and heart failure every year when fully implemented. These actions will reduce harmful air emissions of 308 million pounds of sulfur dioxide, 187 million pounds of nitrogen oxides, and 11 million pounds of particulate matter annually.

More information on EPA's FY 2007 enforcement and compliance program, including details of significant enforcement and compliance activities and data, is available on EPA's fiscal year 2007 enforcement and compliance results: http://www.epa.gov/compliance/data/results/annual/fy2007.html

Help EPA protect our nation's land, air and water by reporting violations: http://www.epa.gov/tips/