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Enforcement

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

Natural gas pump
Natural gas pump

Problem

This initiative historically focused on one industrial sector, implying that the EPA considers all problems in this sector - large or small - to be a priority. For FY 2019, the EPA is clarifying that work under this NCI will focus on significant public health and environmental problems: exposure to significant releases of volatile organic compounds, reducing non-attainment, and reducing water quality impairment. When we consider the FY 2020-2023 NCI cycle, we will evaluate the idea of merging this work into the "Cutting Hazardous Air Pollutants" NCI or focusing this NCI on significant sources of VOCs that have a substantial impact on air quality (without regard to sector), including the potential to adversely affect an area's attainment status, and returning other work in this sector to the core program and Regional priorities.

Goal

EPA is working closely with states to assure that if significant public health and environmental problems occur as part of domestic onshore natural gas extraction and production, they are addressed. EPA has settled a number of high-impact cases under this initiative resulting in significant air emissions reductions, and will continue to identify the best ways to address pollution through greater use of advanced pollution monitoring and reporting techniques.

 

Progress on Ensuring Energy Extraction Activities Are Complying with Environmental Law

The following maps and charts show EPA's progress in addressing incidences of noncompliance from natural gas extraction and production activities.

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