EPA is delivering on Administrator Lisa Jackson’s claim that “EPA is back on the job” by doubling its enforcement priorities, and matching that with its largest proposed enforcement budget in history. Enforcement priorities are set every three years. The current list of priorities for FY2008-2010 totals 8, and includes air toxics, New Source Review, CAFOs, combined sewer discharges, and mineral processing. In January, EPA adopted its enforcement priorities for FY2011-2013.
The new list includes the 8 priorities from the previous list, and adds 8 more: Environmental Justice; Pesticides at Day Care Facilities; Worker Protection Standards; Resource Extraction; Resource Conservation and Recovery Act; Surface Impoundments; Marine Debris; and Wetlands. Because the federal government’s fiscal year begins on October 1, the expanded list of priorities takes effect on October 1, 2010.
To enable EPA to fulfill these priorities, the Administration has proposed an enforcement budget for EPA of $600 million, the largest in history. With the combination of expanded enforcement priorities and the largest enforcement budget in history, businesses that are potential targets of EPA’s enforcement priorities should take action now to evaluate their compliance status through actions such as compliance audits, protocols for handling EPA inspections, and designation of responsible employees should an inspection be announced or an enforcement action begun.