EPA Reports Record Penalty Levels for 2010

Waste Business Journal

The EPA released its Enforcement and Compliance Results for 2010 as an "all-time EPA record," saying that through its actions, polluters will pay more than $110 million in civil penalties and have committed to spend an estimated $12 billion on pollution controls that when completed, will reduce air, land, and water pollution by more than 1.4 billion pounds.

It is a good deal higher than the $5.3 billion in injunctive relief and 580 million pounds of pollution reduced in last year in fiscal 2009. But it is only slightly higher than the $11.7 billion figure for 2008, the last full year of the Bush administration, which secured 3.9 billion pounds in pollution reduction. It suggests that the ratio of injunctive relief to pollution reduced actually declined in 2010 compared to 2008.

EPA says that in FY10 it concluded 200 civil judicial enforcement cases, close to the fiscal 2009 number of 201, "making it the second best year of the past five." And EPA also says it addressed civil violations at 575 facilities and sites through its 200 judicial case conclusions in fiscal 2010, "many more" than the 318 facilities addressed in the fiscal 2009 case conclusions. The drop comes after EPA's enforcement office won its highest ever funding level, $600 million, in 2010.

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