EPA is expanding its crackdown on environmental violations, thanks in part to a 34% budget increase from President Obama.
EPA now has a record high budget and 24 more criminal investigators in the field.
One of EPA’s top enforcement directors, Fred Burnside, recently warned about the agency’s reinvigorated inspection push, at an American Law Institute/American Bar Association conference.
Burnside said EPA’s goal is to make it painful for any company that treats the occasional EPA fine as just a cost of doing business.
He also came armed with this statistic: When companies appeal an EPA fine, the agency wins about 95% of the time.
So what are EPA cops’ current top priorities? As laid out by the agency’s new administrator, Lisa Jackson, they are:
- stormwater compliance, especially at construction sites
- hazardous waste management
- oil spills, including measures to make sure they don’t happen or are contained quickly, and
- air toxic emissions near schools and in low-income neighborhoods.
More information about EPA enforcement priorities can be found here.