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Setting National Priorities for Enforcement and Compliance Assurance

2009 September 15

Are you interested in playing a role in setting priorities with EPA? Do you have an interest in the compliance and enforcement of environmental laws? I’d like to tell you about an exciting opportunity to share your feedback with EPA on the environmental problems that are most important to you.

EPA is in the process of selecting new priorities to focus our enforcement and compliance work in 2011-2013. As part of this process, we would like to collect a wide range of views from the public on the most important environmental problems that occur nationwide. It would also be helpful if you could share a little bit about the reasons why you think that a particular problem is significant from your perspective. For example, if you considered any particular pieces of information, such as news articles, or reports about environmental issues, please send us information about those sources of information as well.

Our decisions regarding future priorities will consider the following key questions:

  • Is the environmental problem happening nationwide or only in an isolated area?
  • Does the environmental problem offer an opportunity for EPA, rather than a state, to play a major role in environmental protection?
  • Does the environmental problem happen frequently because the source emitting the pollution is not following the requirements of environmental laws and regulations?

Here’s how to get started:

About the Author: Elizabeth Walsh joined the US Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, DC in 2001. She currently works on setting national priorities with EPA’s enforcement and compliance assurance program and analyzing environmental data to help EPA set long-term environmental goals.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

7 Responses leave one →
  1. Lois M. Ellis permalink
    September 16, 2009

    Lois M. Ellis 2009-09-16 10:39:29 I live within a radius of five to seven building that has possible asbestos and these building have been standing for years. They need to be destroyed/torn down, whatever it takes! 1. Public Safety 2. Training for deconstruction 3. Deconstruct the buildings 4. Planting trees is a excellent source to control greenhouse gas emissions and they add beautify.

  2. Johnny R. permalink
    September 16, 2009

    A few years ago a California businessman pushed legislation for the right to dump industrial waste into the Pacific Ocean. It failed, but he was only asking for legal approval for a long standing practice, and by this time everyone knows about the gigantic, swirling “garbage patch” in the Pacific. Obviously then, whatever laws may apply, they’re not being enforced. So, how much garbage can life in the oceans survive? We are finding out after the fact.

  3. Jay Whitcraft permalink
    September 22, 2009

    The EPA is not the soultiton it is the problem. Please pay attention as I am only going to say this once.CO2 IS NOT POLLUTITON! Anyone who thinks so is a complete IDiot! There will be no “cliamate change” lies told to my Grandchildren at school because I will be there to stop you!

  4. Dennis Quinter permalink
    September 25, 2012

    I would love to know why the EPA will do nothing about my neighbor constantly spilling things that kill off my lawn. I have spots in my lawn where it is so sterile not even weeds will grow for over two years. I have pictures AND lab reports for proof. The Ohio EPA gave them a Stormwater permit which allows them to divert this runoff to the side ditch past nine houses and into a creek. They say I can not claim the side ditch is my property when the property line is the center of the road. But, what they erect as a way to divert the water ends up in my yard with the runoff. A ridge of sand and gravel a few inches high and wide does not stop runoff when my property is three feet lower. One spill this spring killed all the vegetation along the road from two feet to six feet wide. Another has killed the grass beside my house in an area nearly the size of a car. I sent more pics to the Ohio EPA and they did not not respond, again. The US EPA says they have to leave it to the state to take care of it. Obviously it is NOT being taken care of after two plus years. I’m told that I can not sell this property without disclosing possible contamination or the buyer can make me pay clean up costs if contamination is discovered. So, here I am, disabled and 62 years old with everything tied up in this place and it would be nearly impossible to sell even at a loss.

  5. Jenn permalink
    March 6, 2013

    Dennis,
    It seems like the EPA hands these permits out like candy to a baby! In mid Ohio, there was a permit given to a guy who came out and wanted to put a 10 million gallon pit of HUMAN fecal material behind our homes. He GOT the permit and approved by EPA.
    amazing! and the EPA seems to be doing everything to help him keep his permit because we found an incredible amt of falsification on the permit including where the site is NOT. The problem though is the loopholes and what the permit applicant is telling the EPA. When I called the EPA, they claim that they rarely ‘if ever’ come out to check that the site is where they say it is and they NEVER look into zoning. they leave the fight to the people to ward off the permit.
    Now we have to spend money to fight the permit which was falsified on 65 accounts. The guy was outright lying to get his sludge pit in, because he has to get rid of this stuff somewhere! it’s become a huge mess in Ohio, as this same company is trying to change laws with their feces dumps. Also, the couple who leased the land to this guy has kids. would they want a 10 million gallon pit in their backyards for their grandchildren to play. plus the pit is uphill from all the neighborhood, so when it rains, all that crap will be in our backyards for our children to play and it IS toxic.
    yet it was approved.
    Count your blessings. You only have 30 days to appeal, if you even know about the permit. we were lied to for 3 years about this pit going in and were told the farmer was tiling his fields for farming. Hence, people spent lots of money to build their homes here.
    Anyway, you can always file a formal complaint. the more you file a complaint, the better the chances for the permit to be revoked. speak to everyone whom this INCONSIDERATE violator is affecting.. It’s amazing the disrespect!

  6. Jenn permalink
    March 6, 2013

    Please close the TWO major loopholes on permit applications. There are TWO major loopholes.
    1.) the EPA does not come out to the site to check to see if the site is where and what the applicant says it is and where it is, and verify all the information that was submitted on the application.
    2.) zoning. Why did the EPA remove zoning as a problem left for the people and locals to fight if the applicant submitted false informatio? PLEASE add verification of zoning on your permits and have the permittee do the footwork, having the permittee get a certified statement from a local board, trustee or governing body that the property is zoned for the project.

    We are located on a Residential-Agricultural zoned properties and a company is insisting on keeping their newly built human waste pit behind our homes on agricultural property.
    the permit was approved for industrial zoned and should have NEVER been approved if the EPA would have known that this is ag-residential properties.
    Where is the oversight in this? some pretty slippery people realize the EPA will not come out, so they are getting away with some pretty devastating atrocities that will affect our soil and water.

    You cannot imagine how this situation has destroyed our lives for 4 months and counting, not to mention the MONEY we have to spend fighting this company. As it turns out, this company has a horrid track record for violations in the past and plain DOES NOT CARE about people and their lives. This was illegal from the start and EPA could have avoided it. also, it seems the EPA is trying to help the company holding the illegal permit, while turning their heads on the PEOPLE who are trying to live in their homes.

  7. Jenn permalink
    March 6, 2013

    When violations occur, it seems the EPA only slaps the company on the hand or the company makes some written statement and everything is all good.

    The EPA needs to make more serious fines on violators so it will prevent them from even thinking about it. We have been watching a company that we think is a huge violator for many years; 15 years Plus…. and continue to have violation after violation.
    The only sufferage are the people, wildlife, soil and water and NOT the company or ceo. So much for EPA being there to protect peoples health and welfare.
    People are affected by EPA decisions and the EPA needs to support people, not violators. This is absolutely incredible that the EPA does everything to help the permittee, even if other people’s lives are being destroyed.
    We’ve been incredibly disillusioned by this agency and unless there are some major changes, the EPA should be dissolved completely and re created with a system that WORKS!

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