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Enforcement in New England

Enforcement in New England

EPA New England's enforcement program helps protect human health and the environment by aggressively enforcing environmental laws and regulations. Compliance with the law is often determined by inspections of facilities, sampling, monitoring, and reporting. When violations are discovered, we may take an enforcement action such as issuing a notice of violation or an administrative order with civil penalties. The most significant and serious violations may face criminal prosecutions which can lead to imprisonment and/or fines.

EPA New England gives priority to violations which pose the most serious risks to the environment and public health. We focus on areas where the role of a federal agency is most important. These include cases with impacts across state lines; cases involving national environmental priorities (such as coal-fired power plants and sewer overflows); and cases against public agencies. Maintaining a strong presence in the field deters violators which improves environmental compliance and prevents future environmental threats.

Our close working relationships with New England state environmental agencies help us set our environmental priorities, coordinate our work, and ensure maximum effectiveness of our enforcement program.

Integrated Strategies

EPA's enforcement program is confronted with many critical and difficult environmental problems. Here in New England, we have been national leaders in developing creative enforcement approaches. For example, we have pioneered the use of "integrated strategies" which combine enforcement, compliance assistance, environmental auditing, and some of our other programs in complementary ways to achieve the greatest possible improvement in environmental performance. Regional integrated strategies include Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSOs) in Rhode Island, Colleges and Universities, Municipalities, Charles River Watershed, and Chemical Industry Audit Project.

Compliance Assistance

Compliance assistance helps the regulated community (business, industry, government, etc.) understand and meet their environmental obligations. Check out EPA New England's compliance assistance web pages to find out how we can help you understand environmental laws and regulations and even go beyond compliance.

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