- Increases in facility inspections in overburdened communities;
- Strengthening enforcement in overburdened communities by resolving noncompliance through community-benefitted remedies;
- Increase engagement within the communities about enforcement that most directly impacts them;
- Making EJ a shared goal with “Co-Regulators” (i.e., state and local agencies); and
- Creation of an EJ Enforcement Steering Committee within the OECA.
EPA Announces Plans To Strengthen Enforcement and Advance Environmental Justice
On April 30, 2021, EPA Acting Assistant Administrator for Enforcement and Compliance Assistance, Lawrence E. Starfield, a longtime US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or Agency) attorney and senior manager, released a memorandum to EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) regarding the strengthening of enforcement within communities with Environmental Justice (EJ) concerns. This memorandum was created in response to EPA Administrator Michael Regan’s April 7, 2021 message to EPA employees on the Agency’s commitment to EJ and President Biden’s Executive Order 14008, which calls on the EPA to strengthen enforcement within “overburdened” communities. This memorandum outlines several key issues that the OECA is expected to take action on in the near future, as the Agency addresses EJ concerns in overburdened communities where disproportionate environmental impacts are occurring. Those include: