Policy, Guidance & Publications
National policy, guidance and publications relating to EPA's enforcement of environmental laws.
You will need Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA’s About PDF page to learn more.
On this page:
On other pages:
Civil Enforcement Penalty Policies
These policies provide guidance on how to calculate the gravity-based and economic benefit components of civil penalties.
- Amendments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Civil Penalty Policies to Account for Inflation - (07/27/16)
- Civil Monetary Penalty Inflation Adjustment Rule - (07/01/16)
- Revised Guidance on the Use of Expedited Settlement Agreements - (11/24/14)
- Civil Monetary Penalty Inflation Adjustment Rule - (11/06/13)
- Amendments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Civil Penalty Policies to Account for Inflation (Effective December 6, 2013)
- Revision to Adjusted Penalty Policy Matrices Package issued November 16, 2009 - (4/6/10)
- Technical Correction for the Civil Monetary Penalty Inflation Adjustment Rule - (1/7/09)
- Amendments to Penalty Policies to Implement Penalty Inflation Rule 2008 - (12/29/08)
- Federal Register Notice for Civil Monetary Penalty Inflation Adjustment Rule - (12/11/08)
- Modifications to EPA Penalty Policies to Implement the Civil Monetary Penalty Inflation Adjustment Rule (Pursuant to the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996, Effective October 1, 2004) - (9/21/04)
- Civil Monetary Penalty Inflation Adjustment Rule (40 CFR Parts 19 and 72) (PDF)(7 pp, 183K) - (2/13/04)
- A Framework for Statute-Specific Approaches to Penalty Assessments: Implementing EPA Policy on Civil Penalties, dated 02/16/84 - (5/13/98)
- Consolidated Rules of Practice Governing the Administrative Assessment of Civil Penalties, Issuance of Compliance or Corrective Actions Orders, and the Revocation, Termination or Suspension of Permits - (2/25/98)
- Modifications to EPA Penalty Policies to Implement the Civil Monetary Penalty Inflation Rule (Pursuant to the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996) - (5/9/97)
- Use of Expedited Settlements to Support Appropriate Tool Selection - (12/2/03) (generally SUPERSEDED by 2014 guidance)
- Interim Clean Water Act Settlement Penalty Policy - (03/1/95)
- Guidance on use of Penalty Policies in Administrative Litigation - (12/15/95)
- EPA Policy on Civil Penalties - (2/16/84)
- Guidance on Evaluating a Violator's Ability to Pay a Civil Penalty in an Administrative Enforcement Action - (6/29/2015)
- Guidance on Determining a Violators Ability to Pay a Civil Penalty - (12/16/86)
Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEP)
These policies provide guidance on how and when to include a SEP in an enforcement settlement.
The Updated Policy (Update) above revises and supersedes the February 1991 Policy on the Use of Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs) in EPA Settlements, the May 1995 Interim Revised SEP Policy, and the May 1998 EPA SEP Policy. It also reflects and incorporates by reference previously issued SEP policy and guidance documents (which may contain more detailed discussions of certain issues). Where there may be inconsistencies between these documents and the Update, the Update shall supersede the memoranda and guidance documents.
- Brownfield Sites and Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs)
- Exception to Minimum Penalty Requirements for Proposed SEPs in TSCA Administrative Settlements - (12/14/12)
- Securing Mitigation as Injunctive Relief in Certain Civil Enforcement Settlements (2nd edition) - (11/14/12)
- Transmittal of OGC Opinion, SEPS and Augmentation Final - (4/18/11)
- Diesel SEPs Legislation - Memo to Regions - (7/18/08)
- IRS Advisory Memorandum - (12/21/07)
- Clean Water Municipal Settlements and Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs) - (11/4/05)
- Reminder That Waiver is Required for Supplemental Environmental Projects Not Meeting All Conditions of SEP Policy - (3/21/05)
- Supplemental Environmental Projects in Administrative Enforcement Matters Involving Section 1018 Lead-Based Paint Cases - (11/23/04)
- Guidance Concerning the Use of Third Parties and the Performance of SEPS and the Aggregation of SEP Funds - (12/15/03)
- Guidance for Determining Whether a Project is Profitable and, When to Accept Profitable Projects as Supplemental Environmental Projects, and How to Value Such Projects - (12/5/03)
- Interim Guidance for Community Involvement in Supplemental Environmental Projects - (6/17/03)
- Expanding the Use of Supplemental Environmental Projects - (6/11/03)
- Guidance on the Use of Environmental Management Systems in Enforcement Settlement (SEPs) - (6/12/03)
- Clarification and Expansion of Environmental Compliance Audits under the Supplemental Environmental Projects Policy - (1/10/03)
- Importance of the Nexus Requirement in the Supplemental Environmental Projects Policy - (10/31/02)
- Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEP) Policy - (3/22/02)
- Clarification of Interaction Between 1995 Clean Water Act Interim Settlement Policy and the 1998 Supplemental Environmental Project Policy - (3/22/02)
- Appropriate Penalty Mitigation Credit under the SEP Policy - (4/14/00)
- Revised Approval Procedures for Supplemental Environmental Projects - (7/21/98)
- Issuance of Final Supplemental Environmental Projects Policy - (4/10/98)
Enforcement in Indian Country
Guidance for working with federally-recognized Indian tribes to ensure compliance at federally-regulated facilities in Indian country.
- Implementing Institutional Controls in Indian Country - Handbook answers questions for Regional staff on implementing institutional controls in Indian country as part of a cleanup project (11/13)
- EPA Region 10’s Civil Penalty Guidelines for the Federal Implementation Plans under the Clean Air Act for Indian Reservations in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. 40 C.F.R. Part 49 - These guidelines are used for enforcement and compliance assistance for Federal Air Rules for Indian Reservations in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington (FARR) (02/12/08)
- Questions and Answers on the Tribal Enforcement Process - (4/17/07)
- Collection of Penalties with State and Local Governments and Federally Recognized Indian Tribes - (3/11/05)
- Guidance on the Enforcement Principles Outlined in the 1984 Indian Policy - (1/17/01)
- Enforcement Response Policies are enforcement policies that describe how the EPA will respond to violations.
- Audit Policy, Guidance and Protocols provide guidance to companies that voluntarily discover, promptly disclose, and expeditiously correct environmental violations.
- Financial Analysis Models Used to Calculate Economic Benefit and Ability to Pay
- Language Regarding Judicial Review of Certain Administrative Enforcement Orders Following the Supreme Court Decision in Sackett v. EPA (03/21/13)
- Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) Parallel Proceeding Policy - (9/24/07). This policy reaffirms and clarifies the earlier policies, while adding procedural mechanisms to enhance effective communications between the Agency's civil and criminal enforcement programs.
- Restrictions on Communicating with Outside Parties Regarding Enforcement Actions - (3/8/2006). This guidance reiterates restrictions on communicating with parties outside of the EPA about enforcement actions, including members of Congress, state or local officials, and the media.
- Small Businesses and Enforcement - EPA has many compliance and enforcement resources specifically designed to meet the needs of the Small Business and Small Communities.
- Securing Mitigation as Injunctive Relief in Certain Civil Enforcement Settlements (2nd edition)
- Guide to Calculating Environmental Benefits from EPA Enforcement Cases - (3/2014). The “Guide to Calculating Environmental Benefits from EPA Enforcement Cases” establishes a framework for identifying and characterizing environmental benefits that are reported on the CCDS and entered in the Integrated Information Compliance System (ICIS).