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XIV. Compliance and Enforcement

Source: EPA 1994 Toxics Release Inventory
Public Data Release, Appendix A:
Questions and Answers

Q117 How many inspections have EPA's Regional offices conducted in support of the Office of Compliance (OC) EPCRA section 313 program?

A Since October 1988, EPA field offices have conducted 5,058 inspections of facilities subject to EPCRA section 313 reporting requirements.

FY 1988 - 153
FY 1989 - 768
FY 1990 - 701
FY 1991 - 666
FY 1992 - 774
FY 1993 - 839
FY 1994 - 548
FY 1995 - 612

Q118 How many civil complaints have been issued under section 313?

A EPA has issued 1,179 civil complaints (almost all of which were against non-reporters) since October 1988.

FY 1989 - 124
FY 1990 - 206
FY 1991 - 179
FY 1992 - 134
FY 1993 - 219
FY 1994 - 178
FY 1995 - 139

Q119 What is the total amount of proposed penalties levied against EPCRA section 313 violators?

A EPA's Office of Compliance has levied proposed penalties in excess of $70,694,411 in the EPCRA section 313 program from October 1988 to September 1995. In fiscal year 1995 EPA proposed $8,159,791 in civil administrative penalties.

Q120 How many EPCRA section 313 enforcement cases have been settled? What is the total of final administrative penalties assessed?

FY 1989 - 121 ($2,450,561)
FY 1990 - 193 ($4,186,428)
FY 1991 - 160 ($3,038,135)
FY 1992 - 129 ($2,608,651)
FY 1993 - 118 ($2,852,935
FY 1994 - 121 ($3,017,279)
FY 1995 - 69 ($1,032,304)

Q121 What are Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs)? How are they beneficial for environmental enforcement cases?

A A Supplemental Environmental Project is an environmentally beneficial project which a defendant voluntarily agrees to undertake as part of the settlement of an environmental enforcement action. The defendant, however, is not otherwise legally required to perform the project. SEPs go beyond compliance and that which is required by law (Federal, state, or local). These projects are aimed at reducing risk to human health and enhancing the condition of the environment.

By considering some percentage of the cost of a SEP as a factor in calculating a penalty, EPA encourages defendants to conduct such beneficial projects which would otherwise not be included as part of the assessed penalty. Further, the percentage of the mitigation is directly linked to the environmental benefits of the Project, which encourages defendants to conduct more environmentally comprehensive projects. Since fiscal year 1991 (when EPA began tracking SEPs), EPA has settled 185 EPCRA section 313 cases containing one or more SEPs.

Q122 What is the EPCRA section 313 compliance and enforcement program doing about data quality?

A Data quality has emerged as a second important focus for the EPCRA section 313 compliance and enforcement programs, both at Headquarters and in the Regions. Now that the section 313 nonreporters compliance and enforcement program has matured, EPA is beginning to concentrate more on the quality of the TRI data submitted to EPA and the states. EPA and its Regions are using a variety of tools, from compliance assistance to issuing cases, in order to ensure compliance with the regulations.

Q123 Without a final regulation in place, how is EPA enforcing the Pollution Prevention Act reporting requirements?

A Submission to EPA and the state of certain source reduction, recycling, and other waste stream management information is required under the PPA. Because the requirement to submit these data is mandated by statute, owners and operators of regulated facilities must comply, regardless of the presence or absence of implementing regulations. However, because EPA has not promulgated definitions and guidance for complying with the PPA, its enforcement is focused on ensuring submission of these data, rather than on the methodology for calculating the data.

Q124 What is the Sector Notebook Project, and how does the project relate to TRI?

A In September 1995, the Office of Compliance published comprehensive profiles (Sector Notebooks) of 18 industrial sectors. The Project was designed to raise awareness of environmental regulations, pollution outputs, industrial processes, pollution prevention and compliance history associated with each profile sector. The reports enhance the ability of stakeholders to assess sector-wide issues on a multimedia basis. TRI data contained within the Sector Notebook provide a detailed breakdown of chemicals released and transferred by each industry and give a relative comparison of pollutant outputs across industrial categories. EPA plans to release several more Sector Notebooks at the end of 1996. Existing notebooks are available electronically on the Internet at the Enviro$ense World Wide Web site ( or via modem Directory 57 of the Enviro$ense bulletin board [modem number: (703) 908-2092]. Hard copies can be obtained from the Superintendent of Documents by calling (202) 512-2250. Information on the Sector Notebook Project can be obtained by calling (202) 564-2395.

Source: USEPA 1994 Toxics Release Inventory Public Data Release (EPA 745-R-96-002, June 1996).

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