National Enforcement and Compliance Initiatives
EPA focuses its enforcement and compliance assurance resources on the most serious environmental violations by developing and implementing national program priorities, called National Enforcement and Compliance Initiatives (NECIs). The NECIs are in addition to the EPA’s core enforcement work, including protecting clean and safe water, reducing air pollution, and protecting safe and healthy land.
Formal enforcement remains the key tool to address serious noncompliance and create general deterrence EPA also uses informal enforcement, compliance monitoring, self-audits, and compliance assistance to advance the NECIs.
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On August 17, 2023, EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) announced its selection of six priority areas as the National Enforcement and Compliance Initiatives (NECIs) for Fiscal Years 2024-2027.
Each of these six NECIs address an environmental and public health challenge, the kind of challenge that is difficult to tackle without additional resources and a concerted national effort. Each initiative incorporates environmental justice considerations to ensure the benefits of our Nation’s environmental laws can be shared by everyone living in the United States. Taken together, these initiatives comprehensively address significant environmental problems across media: air, water, and toxics.
Using the full scope of EPA’s enforcement and compliance tools to confront the most significant public health and environmental challenges will help protect vulnerable and overburdened communities and promote a sustainable future. The six FY 2024-2027 NECIs are:
- Mitigating Climate Change (new)
- Addressing Exposure to PFAS (new)
- Protecting Communities from Coal Ash Contamination (new)
- Reducing Air Toxics in Overburdened Communities (modified)
- Increasing Compliance with Drinking Water Standards (continued)
- Chemical Accident Risk Reduction (continued)
The six FY 2020-2023 NECIs advanced the Agency’s Strategic Plan objective to improve compliance with our nation’s environmental laws in partnership with states and federally recognized Indian tribes with authorized environmental programs.
EPA began incorporating environmental justice and evaluating opportunities to address climate change in its implementation of the NECIs in 2021.
The six FY 2020-2023 NECIs are listed below.
NEW! Each of the NECI pages listed below contains FY 2023 enforcement and compliance accomplishments.
- Creating Cleaner Air for Communities by Reducing Excess Emissions of Harmful Pollutants
- Stopping Aftermarket Defeat Devices for Vehicles and Engines
- Reducing Hazardous Air Emissions from Hazardous Waste Facilities
- Reducing Risks of Accidental Releases at Industrial and Chemical Facilities