EPA and Colorado release final enforcement and compliance workplan to prioritize heavily polluted communities
DENVER — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 8 and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment released their final workplan to implement the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Advancing Environmental Justice through Enforcement and Compliance Assurance in Disproportionately Impacted Communities, which the agencies signed last year. The final workplan explains how the agencies will collaborate through enforcement and compliance to reduce pollution in communities overburdened by environmental and public health impacts.
“EPA is committed to doing more to reduce burdens in disproportionately impacted communities in Colorado by ensuring that enforcement actions result in tangible health and environmental benefits,” said Suzanne Bohan, director of EPA Region 8’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division. “We are looking forward to coordinating with CDPHE in our enforcement and compliance assurance work to reduce pollution and protect people’s health and quality of life.”
“We are going to leverage every tool we have to make sure that everyone has a healthy environment to be in,” said CDPHE Director of Environmental Health and Protection Trisha Oeth. “That means prioritizing areas that have more than their fair share of pollution to reduce negative environmental impacts.”
The focus areas of the final workplan include:
- Strategically targeting inspections in disproportionately impacted communities.
- Collaborating with state, local, and federal partners on enforcement and compliance assurance actions to reduce pollution burdens.
- Creating equitable opportunities for communities across Colorado to learn and engage with us about enforcement and compliance issues.
As an initial step in honoring the commitments outlined in the workplan, the EPA and CDPHE will host a virtual community engagement session on May 1st at 5:30 PM to discuss the workplan in more detail and foster an open dialogue with Coloradans about holding regulated entities accountable for compliance with state and federal environmental laws. Community members can register here for the meeting and find meeting information on CDPHE’s upcoming community engagement opportunities calendar. The final workplan will help prioritize inspections and enforcement actions in communities of color and low-income communities.
In Fall 2022, the two agencies sought community feedback before drafting the final workplan. The agencies received feedback on the draft workplan from more than 75 individuals, nonprofit organizations, and local governments. The EPA and CDPHE considered that feedback in the development of the final workplan. This effort is part of the broader Biden-Harris Administration priority of advancing environmental justice by engaging with and focusing on disproportionately impacted communities across the country.
For more information about environmental justice in Colorado visit: