Posted by Neno Duplan
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its annual enforcement and compliance results revealing both the cleanup improvements as well as compliance fines industries have made in 2014. In this report, the agency focused on large, high impact enforcement cases. Environmental Cleanup Improvements:
- Reductions of an estimated 141 million pounds of air pollutants, including 6.7 million pounds of air toxics.
- Reductions of approximately 337 million pounds of water pollutants.
- Clean up of an estimated 856 million cubic yards of contaminated water/aquifers.
Investment and Fines
Enforcement guidelines this year required companies to invest more than $9.7 billion in actions and equipment to control pollution as well as clean up contaminated sites. EPA’s non-compliant cases resulted in $163 million in combined federal administrative, civil judicial penalties, and criminal fines. EPA holds criminal violators accountable that threaten the health and safety of American residents.
“Despite challenges posed by budget cuts and a government shutdown, we secured major settlements in key industry sectors and brought criminal violators to justice. This work resulted in critical investments in advanced technologies and innovative approaches to reduce pollution and improve compliance,” said Cynthia Giles, Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.
Companies can reduce their non-compliance risks and lower their monitoring and reporting costs by implementing enterprise EHS and Sustainability software to automate information management, compliance, and monitoring for exceedances for a fraction of what potential fines could cost them. Once a non-compliance fine is imposed the cost of brand damage could be even worse and incalculable.