EPA's Environmental Enforcement: What Will 2016 Bring?
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had a busy year in 2015, launching its Clean Water Rule, the Clean Power Plan, and proposed new rules for oil and gas operations, among other new regulatory developments. On the enforcement side, the EPA centered its efforts on achieving compliance, deterring future noncompliance and raising the bar for poor performers. In its Dec.16 press release describing fiscal year 2015 environmental enforcement results, the EPA noted that the year was highlighted by large cases that will reduce pollution, level the playing field for responsible companies, and protect public health in communities across the country. Looking forward to 2016, companies that are subject to complex environmental regulatory programs and the practitioners who advise them can gain an understanding of EPA enforcement trends and objectives through a review of EPA’s 2015 efforts and current enforcement policies.