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News Releases from Headquarters

EPA Announces 2016 Annual Environmental Enforcement Results

Contact Information: 
Tricia Lynn (lynn.tricia@epa.gov)
(202) 564-2615

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced its 2016 annual enforcement and compliance results, highlighted by a series of high-impact cases that are delivering environmental and public health benefits to communities across the country. During EPA’s 2016 fiscal year—which spanned October 1, 2015 to September 30, 2016—EPA enforcement actions secured $13.7 billion in investments by companies for projects to control pollution. EPA also secured enforceable commitments that ensure the proper treatment, storage and disposal of an estimated 62 billion pounds of hazardous waste, the majority coming through a settlement with Mosaic Fertilizer for their eight facilities across Florida and Louisiana.  

Two recent landmark settlements—one with BP and one with Volkswagen—are among the most comprehensive and impactful environmental cases in U.S. history. On April 4, 2016, the court entered an agreement with BP for a $20.8 billion settlement to resolve Clean Water Act violations stemming from the Deepwater Horizon blowout and resulting oil spill, with more than $20 billion going to restore impacted communities and the environment. In a case that was lodged in fiscal year 2015 but not entered by the court until October 25, 2016, Volkswagen agreed to spend up to $14.7 billion on projects to reduce air pollution, remedy environmental damage and buy back 2.0 liter diesel vehicles to settle allegations of using illegal software to cheat emissions tests and deceive customers.

“EPA’s enforcement work continues to hold violators accountable and deliver investments to reduce pollution in our communities,” said Cynthia Giles, Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “The American public depends on EPA to enforce the law, protect our communities from pollution and help ensure a level playing field for responsible companies.”

To view an interactive map showing the location of EPA’s 2016 enforcement actions, click here 

EPA’s 2016 enforcement efforts also secured:

  • More than $1 billion in commitments from responsible parties to clean up Superfund sites, and return $55 million to the Superfund trust.
  • Commitments from companies to reduce, treat or eliminate releases of pollution by an estimated 324 million pounds per year.
  • Clean up of an estimated 174 million cubic yards of contaminated water or aquifers and 17 million cubic yards of contaminated soil.
  • A combined $6 billion in federal administrative, civil judicial penalties and criminal penalties.
  • $207 million in criminal fines and restitution, and a combined 93 years of incarceration for criminal violations of federal environmental laws.

EPA continued to pursue high impact cases to drive compliance and tackle the biggest pollution problems across industries:

  • Tesoro Corp., one of the largest fuel refiners in the U.S., and Par Hawaii Refining will improve public health protections by spending $403 million on advanced pollution control equipment to reduce air pollution at six refineries and $12 million on projects to improve public health in local communities previously impacted by pollution.
  • Enbridge, which owns and operates one of the world’s largest oil pipeline systems, will spend at least $110 million on implementing a series of state-of-the-art leak detection and monitoring measures to prevent spills, improve operations and protect communities across nearly 2,000 miles of its pipeline system in the Great Lakes region, following oil spills in Michigan and Illinois in 2010. Enbridge is also paying $62 million in penalties.
  • In a settlement with Marathon Petroleum Company, the company will spend $319 million to install state-of-the-art air pollution controls at refineries in five different states, protecting the health of low-income and other vulnerable communities across the Southeast and Midwest.
  • Sears will implement a comprehensive, corporate-wide program to ensure its contractors minimize lead dust from home renovation activities to protect the health of children and other vulnerable communities from exposure to lead-based paint.
  • A settlement with Southern Coal Corporation and its affiliates requires the companies to comprehensively upgrade their coal mining and processing operations, at an estimated cost of $5 million, to prevent polluted wastewater from threatening rivers and streams and overburdened communities across Appalachia.
  • A settlement with national grocery store chain Trader Joe’s Company will reduce potent greenhouse gas emissions from refrigeration equipment at 453 stores nationwide and sets a high standard for the grocery industry for detecting and fixing coolant leaks.
  • EPA is working closely with local governments and utilities in communities such as Salt Lake County, UtahGreenville, Miss. and the city of Rockford, Ill. to cut discharges of raw sewage and contaminated stormwater through integrated planning, green infrastructure and other innovative approaches.

    More information about EPA’s fiscal year 2016 enforcement results:https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/enforcement-annual-results-fiscal-year-2016