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Advancing Environmental Justice through Compliance and Enforcement

Goal

To fully integrate consideration of environmental justice concerns into the planning and implementation of EPA’s program strategies, case targeting strategies, and development of remedies in enforcement actions to benefit overburdened communities over the next three years.

Read the implementation plan on compliance and enforcement initiatives (PDF) (26 pp, 804K, About PDF).

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Background

EPA is committed to ensuring the Nation’s most overburdened communities are given particular consideration as the Agency implements enforcement and compliance.

Through Plan EJ 2014, EPA intends to focus and accelerate efforts to identify, assess, and address environmental justice concerns in program strategies, and enforcement and compliance activities.

For example, EPA selected National Enforcement Initiatives that include taking action against sewer overflows, concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO) that pollute water sources with animal waste and facilities that emit excessive amounts of air toxics.

These types of facilities and pollution problems often have a disproportionate impact on minority, low-income, tribal, or indigenous communities. EPA and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), are pressing for remedies in enforcement cases that benefit communities overburdened by illegal pollution.

EPA also plans to increase efforts to communicate with affected communities about enforcement actions and program activities, and seek input on remedies for enforcement actions. Through these efforts, EPA will advance its environmental justice goals of fair treatment and meaningful community involvement.

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Strategies

  1. Advance environmental justice goals through selection and implementation of the National Enforcement Initiatives (NEIs)

  2. Advance environmental justice goals through targeting and development of compliance and enforcement actions.

  3. Enhance use of enforcement and compliance tools to advance environmental justice goals in regional geographic initiatives to address the needs of overburdened communities.

  4. Seek appropriate remedies in enforcement actions to benefit overburdened communities and address environmental justice concerns.

  5. Enhance communication with affected communities and the public regarding environmental justice concerns and the distribution and benefits of enforcement actions, as appropriate.

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