EPA Reiterates Importance of States Taking Lead on Enforcement Issues

(July 17, 2019) – EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance released a memo last week further empowering states to take the lead on environmental enforcement issues, furthering EPA’s efforts to place states in the lead of enforcement actions. 

The final policy memorandum is divided into three sections.  The first section details requirements for joint planning and regular communication between EPA and states to promote enhanced, shared accountability.  The second section of the policy provides greater detail on EPA and state roles and responsibilities in implementing authorized programs.  The third and last section of the policy provides a process for the elevation and resolution of issues.

For most NACWA members, this action by EPA to clarify the lead of states on enforcement actions is a positive development, as most utilities have better relationships with their state regulators than EPA.  Since the vast number of utilities are also permitted by their states, better aligning permitting and enforcement actions at the state level can also provide greater efficiencies for utilities in interacting with their regulators. 

Members with additional questions can contact Amanda Waters, NACWA’s General Counsel.