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Compliance

Enhancing Effective Partnerships Between the EPA and the States in Civil Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Work

As part of the EPA’s ongoing efforts to create more effective partnerships with states, localities, and federally-recognized Indian tribes, the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) is issuing this policy on Enhancing Effective Partnerships Between the EPA and the States in Civil Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Work.

In January 2018, OECA issued an Interim Guidance document to help move the Agency toward a more collaborative partnership between the EPA and states.  After more than a year of implementing the Interim Guidance, states and EPA regions gained valuable experience in enhancing planning and communication on compliance work in authorized programs.  OECA incorporated this experience in drafting a revised policy.  On May 13, 2019, OECA solicited public input on this policy in a Federal Register notice for a thirty-day comment period. Today’s policy incorporates additional feedback gained through the public notice.

This final policy sets out expectations and procedures for enhancing effective partnerships in civil enforcement and compliance assurance work between EPA and states that are implementing federal environmental programs.  Although this policy is focused on the EPA’s work with states that are approved to implement federal programs, the EPA will also strive to follow these planning and communication practices when working with federally-recognized Indian tribes, territories, and local governments that have received approval to implement federal programs.

This policy is the result of a collaborative effort between OECA headquarters, regional offices, states, and tribes. EPA would particularly like to thank the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) for their significant participation in this effort.