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State Organizations Briefed on EPA’s Next Generation Compliance Initiative

On February 25th, representatives of several state media organizations (ECOS, ACWA, ASTSWMO, NACA, and ASDWA) attended a briefing (hosted by ECOS) by representatives from EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) on the Agency’s Next Generation Compliance initiative.  The initiative is premised on the recognition that today’s pollution challenges require a modern approach to compliance, taking advantage of new tools and approaches, while strengthening enforcement of environmental laws.  Next Generation Compliance is EPA’s integrated strategy to do that, designed to bring together the best thinking from inside and outside the Agency.  Next Generation Compliance consists of five interconnected components, each designed to improve the effectiveness of our compliance program:

  • Design regulations and permitsthat are easier to implement, with a goal of improved compliance and environmental outcomes.
  • Use and promoteadvanced emissions/pollutant detection technology so that regulated entities, the government, and the public can more easily see pollutant discharges, environmental conditions, and noncompliance.
  • Shift towardelectronic reporting to help make environmental reporting more accurate, complete, and efficient while helping EPA and co-regulators better manage information, improve effectiveness and transparency.
  • Expand transparency by making information more accessible to the public.
  • Develop and useinnovative enforcement approaches (e.g., data analytics and targeting) to achieve more widespread compliance.

Over the past several months, OECA has been conducting individual state visits to discuss the details of Next Generation Compliance and how it might help states — as well as get feedback from states about the approach and learn about innovative state work and possible areas for collaborative activities. EPA is interesting in learning about projects that states have implement related to Next Generation Compliance components and encourages states to propose pilot projects.  The Agency will compile state examples and consider them in its ongoing research as well as periodically share information with states.