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Enforcement

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

Natural gas pump
Natural gas pump

FY2019 Update

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 proposes to focus on significant public health and environmental problems without regard to sector. Specifically, for the FY 2020–2023 NCI cycle the EPA is proposing to transition this NCI to an initiative that will focus on significant sources of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that have a substantial impact on air quality (without regard to sector), and that may adversely affect vulnerable populations or an area’s CAA attainment status. We also will evaluate the idea of merging this work into the “Cutting Hazardous Air Pollutants” NCI.

In FY 2019, as we work to transition this NCI, EPA will focus work under this initiative on advancing 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. We will continue to identify the best ways to address pollution and promote compliance through greater use of compliance assistance, capacity building with our state/tribal partners, advanced pollution monitoring, and reporting techniques in addition to traditional enforcement actions.

Actions

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