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Enforcement

National Compliance Initiatives

National Compliance Initiatives (renamed from National Enforcement Initiatives)

EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance focuses enforcement and compliance resources on the most serious environmental violations by developing and implementing national program priorities, previously called National Enforcement Initiatives.  As part of EPA’s ongoing efforts to increase the environmental law compliance rate and reduce the average time from violation identification to correction, EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance is adjusting and renaming the National Enforcement Initiatives (NEIs) program.  The improved program will be named the National Compliance Initiatives (NCIs) program, a name which better conveys the overarching goal of increased compliance and the use of not only enforcement actions, but the full range of compliance assurance tools. 

The initiatives and initiative selection criteria described and listed on the pages below were developed for the FY 2017-2019 initiative cycle and still bear the “NEI” label but will be updated soon to reflect new direction in the coming months.

In the transition to NCIs, EPA is making these important adjustments: (1) modifying our selection criteria for the FY 2020-2023 NCI cycle to better align with Agency Strategic Plan measures and priorities; (2) engaging more fully with states and tribes in the selection and development of the initiatives; (3) enhancing the EPA's use of the full range of compliance assurance tools in an NCI; and (4) extending the priorities cycle to four years to better align with the Agency's National Program Guide cycle.

For additional information about the transition to National Compliance Initiatives, see EPA Memorandum, Transition from National Enforcement Initiatives to National Compliance Initiatives,” August 21, 2018

EPA’s National Compliance Initiatives (NCIs) are a key mechanism for strategically prioritizing compliance and enforcement resources. The NCIs are considered every three years.  The FY 2017-2019 NCIs were selected based on three primary criteria:

  1.  Environmental problems that are national in scope
  2.  Areas where there is longstanding, widespread, and significant non-compliance with serious environmental and/or public health impacts
  3.  Areas where federal enforcement efforts can make a difference

National Compliance Initiatives are in addition to EPA’s core enforcement work, including protecting safe drinking water, reducing air pollution, and protecting safe and healthy land.

In 2016 EPA selected the eight NCIs listed below for the FY 2017-2019 cycle.  As described in EPA Memorandum, “Transition from National Enforcement Initiatives to National Compliance Initiatives,” in FY 2019 the NCIs will change somewhat, and EPA will initiate the next cycle of NCIs for FYs 2020-2023.

Air

Energy Extraction

Hazardous Chemicals

Water