The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently reported the annual results of its compliance and enforcement efforts for the 2011 fiscal year. According to EPA, its “enforcement achieved an estimated:
- $19 billion invested to improve environmental performance, a record year,
- $3 billion (included in the $19 billion) to clean up hazardous waste in communities and ensure that the polluter pays, a record year,
- $168 million assessed penalties to deter pollution: (Includes $16 million in State penalties from joint Federal enforcement action),
- $25 million in additional investments for supplemental environmental projects that benefit communities,
- 3.6 billion pounds of hazardous waste treated, minimized, or properly disposed of,
- 1.8 billion pounds of pollution reduced, treated or eliminated, and
- 89.5 years of incarceration for environmental criminals.”
EPA also reported regional results. In Region 5 (encompassing Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin), EPA initiated 357 enforcement cases and concluded 344 cases, which resulted in:
- 311,305,460 pounds of pollution reduced, treated or eliminated,
- 25,184,000 pounds of hazardous waste treated, minimized, or properly disposed of, and
- 72,169,914 cubic pounds of contaminated soil and water to be cleaned up.
One of EPA’s regional “highlights” was a RCRA enforcement action against Honeywell International Inc., which “was sentenced in March 2011 to pay a criminal fine of $11.8 million for knowingly storing hazardous waste without a permit.”
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