Federal Environmental Enforcement–Can EPA Do More With Less?

In-House Counsel Committee Newsletter, Vol. 16, No. 1. Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, American Bar Association

Since 2010, EPA’s budget has dwindled by roughly 20 percent. As a result, EPA anticipates conducting 25 percent fewer compliance inspections and 30 percent fewer civil judicial and administrative enforcement cases during the years 2014–2018 compared to 2005–2009. To counter the impact of these budgetary headwinds, EPA plans to bring more meaningful (high impact) cases, target enforcement to key areas that fit EPA’s initiatives, and rely on technology and other measures (such as EPA’s proposed Next General Compliance, an EPA plan to use electronic monitoring and reporting as well as regulatory changes to make enforcement more efficient)....