New EPA Map Uncovers Environmental Violators

The EPA has released a map of all facilities it took enforcement actions against in 2009, including incidents of air and water pollution and illegal dumping of hazardous waste.

In all, 387 environmental crime cases were opened last year, with more than 4 million commitments to reduce or treat pollution and almost $2 billion spent by liable parties to clean up hazardous waste spills.

Photo: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

According to the EPA, 580 million pounds of pollution was reduced, treated or eliminated. Photo: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Enforcement action was based on the ability to comply with national laws, such as the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. This included controlling the emissions of materials such as nitrogen oxides and monitoring the pollutant levels in stormwater runoff.

Some other results from the enforcement action:

– More than 28 million cubic yards of soil and 431 million cubic yards of water is in need of cleaning due to contamination.

– More than 8 million pounds of pesticides were outlawed for sale or use because of mislabeling or improper registration.

– The EPA notified almost 2 million people of drinking water problems in their specific area.

– Two-hundred defendants were charged with environmental violations, resulting in 76 years of incarceration and $96 million in fines.

Surprisingly, not all cases were against commercial organizations. Fifty-one of those accused were federal agencies or their contractors. But it’s not all bad news: In 2008, the number of most polluted areas in the U.S. decreased by 57 from 2007.

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Trey Granger
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  1. Very interesting information. Question: Why do states not inspect mobile equipment (school buses, construction equipment, locomotives, etc.) that are powered by diesel engines that produce black carbon soot which is a major cause of health issues such as lung cancer. In NC I have to get my car inspected including emission testing annually in order to qualify to get my car registration. The garbage truck that picks up my recycled materials blows black smoke all over our neighborhood which is breathed by everyone-no regulations for that type of equipment-why not?

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