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EPA Releases National, Regional Enforcement Statistics for 2009

Release Date: 12/24/2009
Contact Information: Lauris Davies, davies.lauris@epa.gov, 206-553-2857

(Seattle, WA) EPA released national enforcement statistics and unveiled a newly-developed, web-based tool and interactive map that allows the public to get detailed information by location about the enforcement actions taken at approximately 4,600 facilities.

Regionally, enforcement work in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska required companies to perform $75,000,000 worth of pollution control and cleanup work, an $18,000,000 increase over 2008.

According to Michelle Pirzadeh, EPA acting Regional Administrator in Seattle, a robust enforcement program can "inspire" compliance with pollution laws.

"Enforcement is a tool to protect people and the environment,” said EPA's Pirzadeh. “We’ve found there are many ways to inspire compliance, but taking enforcement action is sometimes the most effective way to help keep our communities safe and our land, air and water protected."

For more information, including data specific to Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington:

http://www.epa.gov/region10/enforcement/2009results.html

National Press Release:

Contact: Deb Berlin
berlin.deb@epa.gov
(202) 564-4914
(202) 564-4355

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 23, 2009

U.S. EPA Releases Annual Enforcement Results and Mapping Tool

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released enforcement results for fiscal year 2009, and has developed a new Web-based tool and interactive map that allows the public to get detailed information by location about the enforcement actions taken at approximately 4,600 facilities.

In FY2009, EPA concluded enforcement actions requiring polluters to invest more than $5 billion on pollution controls, cleanup, and environmental projects. Civil and criminal defendants committed to install controls and take other measures to reduce pollution by approximately 580 million pounds annually once all required controls are fully implemented.

The new mapping tool allows the public to view the locations of facilities that were the subject of those enforcement actions on interactive maps of the U.S. and territories. The maps show facilities where civil enforcement actions were taken for environmental laws for air, water, and land pollution, and a separate map shows criminal enforcement actions.

Viewers can click on specific facilities to find historical information about specific enforcement actions, such as violations and monetary penalties. In addition, viewers can use the zoom function to find out which facilities are located near water bodies that are listed as "impaired” because they do not meet federal water quality standards.

EPA mapped the locations of more than 90 percent of the facilities that were the subject of enforcement actions last year. EPA did not map the locations of drinking water treatment plants due to potential security concerns.

For the past 10 years, EPA has described annual enforcement results by focusing primarily on two measures, the estimated pounds of pollutants reduced and estimated cost of commitments made by defendants to control or reduce pollution. These measures vary significantly from year to year and are dependent upon the number of large cases that settle in a given year.

While these large cases are a vital part of our work to protect public health and improve compliance, they do not reflect the totality of the annual environmental enforcement activities, and do not capture the number and variety of enforcement actions taken to help clean up local communities. The new mapping tool will help increase transparency, improve access to data, and provide the public with the bigger picture of enforcement activity occurring in communities around the country.

More information: http://www.epa.gov/compliance/resources/reports/endofyear/eoy2009/index.html