Early Messaging from USEPA Enforcement HQ
USEPA HQ’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) in Washington recently released two memoranda telegraphing enhanced inspections, enforcement and the return of Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs) to the environmental enforcement toolbox. With a particular focus on Environmental Justice (EJ), OECA outlined the steps it plans to take to implement President Biden’s EO on EJ. The memos suggest that EPA enforcement is likely to step up, in particular in those areas where it determines that state regulators are not doing enough to protect communities “overburdened by pollution.” OECA telegraphed additional memoranda are expected concerning the cleanup and criminal enforcement programs. Worth the read…
“Therefore, I am asking case teams to explore ideas for obtaining early relief for affected communities. This could include issuing administrative orders in judicial cases to expedite the implementation of pollution controls or the installation of monitoring equipment, seeking a preliminary injunction to stop noncompliance, or taking other interim actions.” _ Lawrence Starfield, Acting AA of OECA.
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