EPA has announced a new compliance policy that some will view as providing welcome relief to industry and others may view as providing unwarranted concessions. The subject line of the EPA memo announcing the new policy is “Transition from National Enforcement Initiatives to National Compliance Initiatives” (emphasis added). That alone is an indication of how things have changed. EPA’s National Enforcement Initiatives (“NEIs”) have focused on various industry and agricultural sectors for the past two decades. NEIs result in targeted enforcement in each EPA region because of a perceived lack of compliance by some regulated parties in the sectors selected. NEIs have been selected every three years, and recent sectors have included oil and gas, chemical manufacturing, and animal feeding operations.
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