The Outlook for Environmental Enforcement in 2013
President Obama's re-election is expected to bring continued, aggressive enforcement efforts at the civil and criminal levels. To the extent that legislative initiatives on key issues like climate change, shale gas, and offshore drilling are delayed or given a lower priority, the Obama Administration may seek to allay environmentalist concerns through public efforts to hold industry accountable to existing laws and regulations. Several initiatives already underway "“ including EPA's National Enforcement Initiatives - are expected to intensify with efforts to expand the Agency's information request authorities, its facility inspection authorities, and its technical tools for enforcement. Additional, heightened environmental enforcement is expected via other agencies, including the DOE, DOI and the SEC. The outlook for environmental enforcement efforts at DOE and DOI are addressed in our reports on energy and offshore issues. Several specific areas of EPA's heightened enforcement efforts are discussed in this blog post: EPA's National Enforcement Initiatives EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) has identified the following as its primary enforcement initiatives:
- Seek major capital improvements through New Source Review (NSR) enforcement at large industrial sources;
- Obtain compliance with National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants at a wide variety of industrial sectors;
- Address municipal sewer collection systems, which will require cities to undertake substantial infrastructure expenditures nationwide;
- Tackle water discharges from concentrated animal feeding operations within the agricultural industry;
- Seek injunctive relief at mineral processing operations; and
- Develop and implement a multi-media national enforcement program targeted at the energy extraction (domestic oil and gas development) industry.