USEPA to enforce Clean Water Act better

US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Lisa P. Jackson announced on 15 October 2009 at a House of Representatives Transportation & Infrastructure Committee hearing that the agency is stepping up its efforts on Clean Water Act enforcement.

The Clean Water Action Enforcement Plan is a first step in revamping the compliance and enforcement program. It seeks to improve the protection of US water quality, raise the bar in federal and state performance, and enhance public transparency.
The goals of the plan are to target enforcement to the most significant pollution problems, improve transparency and accountability by providing the public with access to better data on the water quality in their communities, and strengthen enforcement performance at the state and federal levels. Elements of the plan include the following:

  • Develop more comprehensive approaches to ensure enforcement is targeted to the most serious violations and the most significant sources of pollution.
  • Work with states to ensure greater consistency throughout the country with respect to compliance and water quality. Ensure that states are issuing protective permits and taking enforcement to achieve compliance and remove economic incentives to violate the law.
  • Use 21st century information technology to collect, analyze and use information in new, more efficient ways and to make that information readily accessible to the public. Better tools will help federal and state regulators identify serious compliance problems quickly and take prompt actions to correct them.

  • Last July, Jackson directed EPA's Office of Enforcement & Compliance Assurance to develop the plan in response to data showing that the nation's water quality is unacceptably low in many parts of the country.

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