The Rise of EPA Environmental Enforcement

Last month, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released their annual Environmental Enforcement Results for 2017. This report highlights the agency’s civil and criminal enforcement results for the year, and provides insight into where the agency is allocating their funding and focusing their compliance enforcement. While there were some notable enforcement cases in 2017, many of which have been nationally highlighted such as Volkswagen paying $2.8 billion to settle allegations that they used illegal software to cheat emissions tests, or Tyson Poultry pleading guilty to Clean Water Act violations for discharging acidic chicken feed and killing approximately 108,000 fish in Monett, Missouri, there is something much more notable in their report; an increase in the total of criminal fines, restitution, and mitigation to $2.98 billion and an increase in the years of incarceration from criminal enforcement to 150 years. EPA asserts that this increase of both fines and incarceration for non-compliance has led to an increase of the overall value of the agency’s actions to a staggering $20 billion for 2017.

If this is report is to be believed, we can certainly expect EPA to remain steadfast in their current enforcement trajectory as the agency certainly sees tremendous value in their administrative actions. While one can debate the merits of the agency’s actions, one cannot debate the need for training and certification to avoid issues of non-compliance. This is an absolute must. In order for employers to protect not only themselves and their companies, but also the health and safety of their employees, acquiring and maintaining environmental certifications is imperative. Furthermore, the integration of technology into the field of environmental training has made the acquisition of these necessary trainings easy and convenient. Employers throughout the environmental and the skilled trades industries no longer must struggle to find local, reliable training providers as well as the time needed to place all their employees in a single training class. They can now do so at their own pace without the worry of finding and scheduling another training course.

CHC Training provides comprehensive risk management solutions including project consultation, training, certification, and the industry’s first 24/7 expert advice hotline. Our asbestos, lead, mold, silica, and OSHA safety classes are fully accredited and can be customized to satisfy the compliance requirements of federal, state and local regulations. Contact us prior to your next project and let us work with you to identify the certification requirements and necessary training to ensure the utmost compliance and safety. Partnering with CHC Training is a small step, and certainly a less costly one, to avoiding and accidental EPA enforcement case!

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