Search Site
EPA Announces National Enforcement Initiatives, effective October 1, 2016

On February 18, 2016, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its National Enforcement Initiatives for the 2017 to 2019 fiscal years.  Effective October 1, 2016, EPA will keep four current National Enforcement Initiatives, add two new initiatives, and expand on one during the next three years.  Therein, EPA also announced the ending of its initiative for reducing pollution from mineral processing operations.

The four, current National Enforcement Initiatives to remain include: reducing air pollution from the largest sources; ensuring energy extraction activities comply with environmental laws; keeping raw sewage and contaminated stormwater out of the Nation’s Waters; and preventing animal waste from contaminating surface and groundwater.

In the air context, EPA plans to expand its initiative to cut toxic air pollutants by addressing illegal and excess emissions of hazardous air pollutants (‚ÄúHAP‚ÄĚ) from leaks and flares at refineries and chemical plants.¬† According to the EPA, its recent monitoring data shows facilities are emitting more HAP emissions than they report.¬† Therefore, EPA will expand this initiative, which started in 2004, to include emissions monitoring from large product storage tanks and hazardous waste generator and treatment, storage, and disposal facilities.

A new National Enforcement Initiative for 2017 aims to reduce risks of accidental releases at industrial and chemical facilities.  The EPA reports that thousands of these facilities, many of which located in low-income or minority communities, manufacture and/or store extremely hazardous materials.  Catastrophic accidents at these facilities, historically averaging 150 per year, cause serious risk of harm to human health and the environment.  Thus, under this new initiative, and following revisions to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s 2011 National Emphasis Program, EPA will focus on reducing risk through innovative prevention measures and improving response capabilities.

A second, new initiative for the next three years will focus on keeping industrial pollutants out of the Nation‚Äôs Waters.¬† The EPA has identified certain industrial sectors, like chemical and metal manufacturing, mining, and food processing, as ‚Äúdisproportionate‚ÄĚ contributions to water pollution.¬† Driven by water pollution data, EPA will focus on these industries, looking to cut illegal and unpermitted discharges pursuant to the Clean Water Act.

Owners and operators in these regulated industries, especially those with facilities in more than one state, need take note.¬† The EPA is particularly interested in a ‚Äúconsistent national strategy to achieve compliance‚ÄĚ and multi-state operators appear to be in the EPA‚Äôs crosshairs.

The attorneys at Lieberman & Blecher, P.C. regularly assist clients in working through regulatory compliance issues with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the EPA.  If you have a question about environmental regulatory compliance, you can contact our office to discuss your concerns with a member of our staff.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Our Attorneys

Recent Twitter Posts

  • New parks, trails will reconnect region to Camden's two rivers.
    20 hours ago
  • Environmental Groups Seek NJ Supreme Court Review of Exxon Settlement.
    1 week ago
  • Pompton Lakes officials oppose Superfund for DuPont site.
    1 week ago
  • Sparta holds decision on Glen Lake Dam case.
    1 week ago

Recent Blog Posts

United States Supreme Court Tackles Key Clean Water Act Judicial Review Issue

National Association of Manufacturers v. Department of Defense, et al. 583 U.S. ____ (2018) Decided January 22, 2018 Since the passing of the Clean Water Act in 1972, the definition of “the waters
Read More
United States Supreme Court Tackles Key Clean Water Act Judicial Review Issue

New Jersey Voters to Decide Important State Constitutional Amendment concerning the Environment

On Tuesday, November 7, 2017, New Jersey voters will be asked to decide on a state constitutional amendment regarding the use of natural resource damages collected by the State in
Read More
New Jersey Voters to Decide Important State Constitutional Amendment  concerning the Environment

Appellate Division Case Demonstrates Importance of Carefully Negotiated Escrow Agreements

Real estate transactions involving commercial and residential properties frequently employ the use of escrow agreements to address potential environmental issues.  This practice is widespread in New Jersey and it permits
Read More
Appellate Division Case Demonstrates Importance of Carefully Negotiated Escrow Agreements

NJDEP Updates Soil Remediation Standards for 19 Contaminants

Effective September 18, 2017, new soil remediation standards govern the cleanup of contaminated sites in New Jersey.¬† The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (‚ÄúNJDEP‚ÄĚ) recently updated remedial standards for
Read More
NJDEP Updates Soil Remediation Standards for 19 Contaminants

In the media

  • Gulf Coast Town Center facing foreclosure

    Naples Daily News, September 16, 2015

    Wells Fargo filed a lawsuit Sept. 8 against an affiliate of CBL & Associates, the owners of the decadeold, 1.2 million-square-foot mall in south Fort Myers for a $190.9 million unpaid loan. The center has 94 stores on 204 acres, with such anchors as Super Target, Belk, Best Buy, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Marshalls and Costco...

    Read More
  • Town liable for private company's leaking underground tanks, court rules Jul 26, 2017

    CRANFORD -- A couple that owned a businesses in town and became sick from leaking underground tanks owned by an adjacent business can sue the township for damages because the tanks were partially ...

    Read More
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
Contact Our Firm

Quick Contact Form