The U.S. EPA announced that it intends to extend its six, sector-based enforcement priorities through 2016. The agency has been prioritizing the same six enforcement initiatives since fiscal year 2011, which include targeting air emissions from the largest sources, and ensuring that energy extraction efforts comply with environmental regulations. While the agency acknowledges that it has made considerable progress to reduce air emissions from large sources that modify their facilities without installing pollution controls, including coal-fired power plants, cement kilns, glass manufacturing facilities, and acid facilities, it acknowledged that it has much more work to do. Aside from reducing air emissions, the other five initiatives that they will continue to pursue are:

  • Reducing discharges of untreated sewage and storm water;
  • Preventing waste from concentrated animal feeding operations from contaminated waters;
  • Reducing air toxic emissions through leak detection and repair;
  • Reducing flared emissions and targeting pollution emitted during times of startup, shutdown and equipment malfunction;
  • Ensuring that hydraulic fracturing and other energy extraction processes comply with air and water laws; and
  • Reducing pollution from mineral processing operations.