On January 20, 2022, EPA announced its Enforcement and Compliance Accomplishments for fiscal year (FY) 2021. EPA’s news release highlighted an increase in the economic value of commitments companies have made to achieve environmental compliance as a result of enforcement and an increase in the amount assessed in penalties.
Fewer Civil Cases Since 2011
In terms of the number of civil enforcement cases initiated and concluded, the trend for several years has been down, due to budget constraints. On its “Data and Trends” web page, EPA shows the number of civil enforcement cases somewhat below FY 2017 levels and well below FY 2011 levels, when EPA’s enforcement resources were greater.
End of Prior Years’ Increases in New Criminal Cases
The number of criminal cases opened in FY 2019 and FY 2020 increased substantially from FY 2018, but in FY 2021 they were down to FY 2018 levels. The total number of years of incarceration for environmental sentencing continued a downward trend from FY 2017, as did the number of persons charged with environmental crimes.
For the Data and Trends https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/enforcement-annual-results-fiscal-year-2021#data%20and%20trends
For the January 20, 2021 news release https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-announces-enforcement-and-compliance-accomplishments-fiscal-year-2021