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EPA Enforcement Cuts Total Pollution by 2.6 Million Pounds in New England

Release Date: 11/16/2006
Contact Information: David Deegan - (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. – Nov. 16, 2006) – Enforcing environmental laws in the New England region by EPA last year yielded significant pollution reduction and compliance assurance. EPA’s efforts last year have slashed pollution in New England by 2.6 million pounds.

"EPA’s work to enforce environmental laws in New England translates directly to better protection of our environment and public health," said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “By encouraging environmental stewardship, while vigorously enforcing our nation’s laws, we are helping provide our children future generations with a cleaner, healthier America.”

As a result of EPA’s regional environmental enforcement last year, violators will pay an estimated $436 million in penalties and in taking action to correct violations. Further, in New England an additional $1.6 million is being committed in “supplemental environmental projects” - actions with an environmental benefit to the community at large which go above and beyond correcting the violation.

EPA’s New England office conducted 1,125 on-site inspections last year and held 141 workshops to help citizens and organizations understand their responsibilities for compliance with environmental statutes. This work to promote compliance assistance reached approximately 34,000 individuals and institutions. Finally, EPA’s work in New England last year resulted in 26 referrals to the U.S. Dept. of Justice for civil judicial actions.

In New England, EPA has put special emphasis on several targeted sectors, including marinas, superfund enforcement, lead paint hazards, wet weather issues leading to environmental violations, drinking water security and air quality. For example, health benefits achieved by strong enforcement of air quality standards include reducing premature deaths in people with heart or lung disease, preventing cases of bronchitis and nonfatal heart attacks, and reducing triggers for respiratory ailments such as aggravated asthma.

Nationally, today’s report reflects a sustained three-year record of pollution reduction, totaling almost 3 billion pounds, and requiring companies to invest almost $20 billion in pollution control equipment. More than 70 percent of these reductions were achieved by addressing high-priority air and water pollution challenges.

More information on EPA's enforcement and compliance program in New England for the past year (http://www.epa.gov/region1/enforcementandassistance/reports/2006OESreport/index.html)