EPA Region 1 Really Does March to the Beat of Its Own Drummer

Foley Hoag LLP - Environmental Law
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Foley Hoag LLP - Environmental Law

Jerry Anderson of Drake University Law School recently did an interesting post regarding environmental enforcement.  I recommend the full post, but I particularly wanted to bring my readers’ attention to a figure Jerry included in the post.

For those who have worked in EPA Region 1, this may not be a total surprise – and yet it’s still shocking.  This picture is worth more than a thousand words, and that’s a good thing, because it might well render you speechless.  Over a ten year period, penalties imposed in Region 1 were 10 times the national average.  They were almost three times the next highest region.

It’s not because there are no other aggressive regions within EPA.  Region 1 was roughly five times as high as Region 9 and seven times as high as Region 2.

It’s not because Region 1 is heavily weighted towards large industrial facilities likely to have major violations.  We all know that the opposite is the case.

It’s not because there was one huge outlier.  This is a ten-year average; it is not one unusual year.

I’d love for one of my many friends at Region 1 to explain this away, but until they do, I’m going to suggest that it just might be at least potentially barely possible that Region 1 enforcement personnel have taken zealous enforcement a little further than even their zealous colleagues in other regions think is fair and reasonable.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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