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EPA enforcement actions in Louisiana cut pollution, restore environment

Release Date: 11/15/2006
Contact Information: Dave Bary or Tressa Tillman at 214-665-2200 or r6press@epa.gov

(Dallas, Texas – November 15, 2006) More than $4.9 billion in environmental improvements were secured and more than 890 million pounds of pollution were reduced as a result of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency enforcement activities this year.

A total of $1.3 billion in environmental improvements and 181 million pounds in pollution reductions were realized across the region comprising Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

“We could not have achieved this successful level of results without the teamwork of our state environmental departments,” EPA Regional Administrator Richard E. Greene said. “Our enforcement professionals work very closely and very effectively with their state counterparts to ensure a cleaner environment and healthier communities.”

EPA’s enforcement numbers were released today by its Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance as part of its end-of-year report for fiscal year 2006, which ended September 30.

Among the Agency’s enforcement achievements for Louisiana is the unprecedented response it conducted in collaboration with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. EPA and LDEQ worked jointly on a host of activities associated with hurricane recovery efforts, including bringing the New Orleans sewage treatment plant back online after the storms.

EPA also helped the state achieve improvements in its air quality as part of a national agreement with Valero Energy Corp. The company will reduce annual emissions from its facilities by more than 20,500 tons nationally and will spend more than $456 million to make corrections at its facilities across the region.

In addition to enforcement actions, EPA provided help to more than 7,228 regional businesses and individuals in understanding and complying with environmental responsibilities during the past year.

The EPA enforcement program is a vital tool in ensuring compliance with the nation’s environmental laws and inspiring businesses, governments, and others to focus on pollution prevention. More information on the EPA FY2006 enforcement and compliance program is available at http://www.epa.gov/region6/6en/06-axn-highlights.html#la.

For more information about activities in EPA Region 6, please visit http://www.epa.gov/region6.

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