This year marks the third annual post from this Blog highlighting EPA’s enforcement and compliance figures. And while this year’s data tells a number of interesting stories, no story is larger than the potential impact of the incoming Trump Administration on EPA’s enforcement figures in 2017. With that as our backdrop—and fully admitting that this time next year, EPA’s data may look very different giving us even more to talk about—here are just some of the interesting facts and trends spotted in last year's data.
First, Region 3 tops the list with 372 new enforcement cases initiated in 2016 and Region 6 is not far behind with 364. Region 1 once again initiated the fewest new enforcement cases at 93. Interestingly, the state of Massachusetts saw new cases drop significantly to 38 in 2016 down from roughly 55 in the previous two years. Region 8 saw the second fewest enforcement cases in the nation with 123. Like in 2015, national Clean Water Act enforcement actions once again appear to be clustered in the northeast corridor and in particular, eastern Pennsylvania. Clean Water Act enforcement cases were also particularly prevalent in Puerto Rico, which alone accounted for over 100 enforcement actions on the island. Further, new chemical enforcement actions were heavily concentrated within the states of Georgia and North and South Carolina. These are just a few of the interesting data points that can be seen on the interactive “Case Map” and as I have said before, the Map is a virtual treasure trove of data which should be checked out here. Finally, for those interested in Region 1, feast your eyes on the promised three-year comparison of enforcement figures here. Enjoy and check back again next year—it’s gonna be great.