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EPA Announces Policy to Enhance Enforcement & Compliance Assurance Partnerships with States

Yesterday, EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assistance (OECA) released its policy – “Enhancing Effective Partnerships Between the EPA and the State in Civil Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Work”. Susan Bodine, the OECA Assistant Administrator is quoted in the press release – “The final policy clarifies roles and provides a clear roadmap that EPA and our state partners can use to more effectively achieve our shared goal of increasing compliance with environmental regulations”.

The final policy memorandum is divided into three sections:

  1. Requirements for joint planning and regular communication between EPA and states to promote enhanced, shared accountability.
  2. EPA and state roles and responsibilities in implementing authorized programs.
  3. Process for the elevation and resolution of issues.

The issuance of the final policy replaces the interim guidance memorandum on enhanced planning and communication between EPA regional offices and states issued by Bodine on January 22, 2018. Additionally, as one of its FY 2020-2023 Priorities, OECA has also included drinking water as one of its National Compliance Initatives (NCIs) that were released in mid-June. OECA has started reaching out to a few states to talk more about the drinking water NCI. The draft strategy for the drinking water NCI is planned for late August and ASDWA has been working closely with OECA staff on the development.