On December 17, 2012, US EPA released its annual enforcement results. According to EPA, the FY 2012 results include:
- Sustained and focused enforcement attention on serious violators of clean drinking water standards has resulted in improvements in compliance. The number of systems with serious violations has declined by more than 60 % in the past three years as a result of combined federal and state enforcement work, protecting people’s health through safer drinking water.
- More than 67 % of large combined sewer systems are implementing solutions to reduce raw sewage and contaminated stormwater. EPA is working with communities to design integrated solutions to these water quality problems, and incorporating innovative and cost effective green infrastructure to save money and achieve multiple community benefits.
- EPA is bringing criminal prosecutions where criminal activity threatens public health, like failing to use required pollution control equipment or knowingly violating pollution rules resulting in death or serious harm or falsifying pollution information.
- EPA is advancing environmental justice by incorporating fenceline monitoring, which requires companies to monitor their air emissions and make that data available public, into settlements, ensuring that local residents have access to information about pollution that may be affecting their community. EPA also secured $44 million in additional investments through settlements for supplemental environmental projects that benefit impacted communities.
- EPA is increasing transparency to use the power of public accountability to help improve environmental compliance. EPA’s 2012 enforcement actions map provides information about violators in communities. EPA’s state dashboards and Clean Water Act pollutant loading tool provides the public with information about local pollution that may affect them and allows the public to take a closer look at how government is responding to pollution problems.