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Enforcement

Former National Compliance Initiative: Ensuring Energy Extraction Activities Comply with Environmental Laws

Natural gas pump
Natural gas pump

For the FY 2020-2023 cycle, this NCI was superseded by a new NCI, called Creating Cleaner Air for Communities by Reducing Excess Emissions of Harmful Pollutants.  The new NCI focuses on reducing excess emissions of both hazardous air pollutants and volatile organic compounds.

Problem

VOCs can have a substantial effect on air quality and may adversely affect vulnerable populations or an area’s CAA attainment status.

Goal

Beginning in 2011, this NCI focused on one industrial sector, natural gas extraction, implying that the EPA considers all problems in this sector—large or small—to be a priority. Rather than focus on any single sector, the EPA began focusing on significant public health and environmental problems without regard to sector as this NCI was replaced by a new NCI in FY 2020-2023

For FY 2020-2023, EPA superseded this NCI with  a new NCI called Creating Cleaner Air for Communities (CCAC). The new CCAC NCI will focus on reducing emissions of both volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and hazardous air pollutants (HAPs). For VOC emissions, the NCI will focus on significant sources of VOCs that have a substantial impact on air quality and: (1) may adversely affect an area's attainment of National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS); or (2) may adversely affect vulnerable populations. For HAPs, the CCAC NCI will focus on sources that have a significant impact on air quality and health in communities, consistent with the existing NCI on Cutting Hazardous Air Pollutants.

For more information, see National Compliance Initiative: Creating Cleaner Air for Communities by Reducing Excess Emissions of Harmful Pollutants

In FY 2019, EPA advanced the goals of EPA’s Strategic Plan by focusing on significant public health and environmental problems: exposure to significant releases of volatile organic compounds, reducing non-attainment, and reducing water quality impairment.

Results

The following map and chart show EPA actions to address incidences of noncompliance from natural gas extraction and production activities under this NCI.

Map of basins and shale plays and EPA energy extraction inspections/evaluations and enforcement actions