[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 18 (Monday, January 28, 2013)]
[Pages 5799-5800]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-01706]



[EPA-HQ-OECA-2012-0956; FRL-9773-8]

Public Comment on EPA's National Enforcement Initiatives for 
Fiscal Years 2014-2016

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice of public comment period.


SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is soliciting public 
comment and recommendations on national enforcement initiatives to be 
undertaken in fiscal years 2014-2016. EPA selects these priority areas 
every three years in order to focus federal resources on the most 
important environmental problems where noncompliance is a significant 
contributing factor and where federal enforcement attention can make a 
difference. For the FY 2011-2013 time period, the U.S. Environmental 
Protection Agency, Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, has 
six national enforcement initiatives. These initiatives are (1) 
Municipal Infrastructure--addressing sewage discharges from combined 
sewer systems, sanitary sewer systems, and municipal separate storm 
sewer systems; (2) Mineral Processing--addressing hazardous waste at 
phosphoric acid facilities and high risk mineral processing sites; (3) 
New Source Review--controlling emissions from coal fired utility 
sector, cement plants, glass plants, and acid production plants; (4) 
Air Toxics--addressing toxic emissions from high risk facilities by 
examining leak detection and repair (LDAR), flares, and excess emission 
sources; (5) Energy Extraction--addressing land-based natural gas 
extraction facilities, including corporate-wide evaluations; and (6) 
Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations--addressing animal waste 
discharges from large animal feeding facilities. For more information 
on the current initiatives, full descriptions can be found on our Web 
site: http://www.epa.gov/compliance/data/planning/initiatives/index.html.
    In addition to these sector-based approaches, EPA could choose to 
focus a national initiative on a strategic area that would improve the 
Agency's ability to conduct its enforcement and compliance program. For 
example, EPA is investing in a new approach called Next Generation 
Compliance to dramatically improve compliance by, among other things, 
employing advances in emissions monitoring and information technology; 
expanding transparency by making information publicly available. This 
availability of information will empower communities to play an active 
role in compliance oversight and improve the performance of both the 
government and regulated entities.
    The public is invited to comment on extending the current six 
national enforcement initiatives for the 2014-2016 cycle. The public is 
also invited to propose new sectors or other important strategic areas 
for consideration. Commenters should keep in mind the Agency's resource 
constraints, given that final decisions will need to consider the 
Agency's funding level. Final selection will be incorporated into the 
EPA Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Final National 
Program Manager Guidance (that provides national program direction for 
all EPA regional offices) to be released in the Spring 2013. EPA will 
consider these comments as it moves forward in the decision-making 
process, but will not respond to all comments received.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before February 27, 2013.

ADDRESSES: Information in support of this Notice of Public Comment is 
available via the Internet at: http://www.epa.gov/compliance/data/planning/initiatives/index.html.
    Submit your comments via www.regulations.gov, identified by Docket 
ID No. EPA-HQ-OECA-2012-0956. Follow the on-line instructions for 
submitting comments.
    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OECA-
2012-0956. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included 
in the public docket without change and may be made available online at 
www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, 
unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential 
Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is 
restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to 
be CBI or otherwise protected through www.regulations.gov. The 
www.regulations.gov Web site is an ``anonymous access'' system, which 
means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you 
provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment 
directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov, your email 
address will be automatically captured and included as part of the 
comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the 
Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you 
include your name and other contact information in the body of your 
comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your 
comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for 
clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic 
files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of 
encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses.

National Planning and Measures Branch, Office of Enforcement and 
Compliance Assurance, Mail Code: M2221A, Environmental Protection 
Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone 
number: 202-564-3688; fax number: 202-564-0027; email address: 
[email protected].


I. What are EPA enforcement and compliance national enforcement 

    EPA is voluntarily soliciting public comment and recommendations on 
national enforcement initiatives to be undertaken in fiscal years 2014-
2016. EPA selects these initiatives every three years in order to focus 
federal resources on the most important environmental problems where 
noncompliance is a significant contributing factor and where federal 
enforcement attention can make a difference. Sector-based enforcement 
and compliance national enforcement initiatives are selected according 
to three criteria: (1) Environmental impact; (2) significant 
noncompliance; and (3) appropriate federal role. The national 
enforcement initiatives do not impose any legally binding requirements 
on any outside parties. EPA will also consider strategic program areas 
that are not sector-based as potential national enforcement 
initiatives. These areas include programs such as Next Generation 
Compliance (e.g., increasing use of advanced emissions monitoring, 
expanding transparency by increasing

[[Page 5800]]

data availability, and developing more effective regulations).

II. On what is EPA requesting comment?

    EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance is collecting 
external comment on the current set of national enforcement initiatives 
and whether there are other new enforcement initiatives or strategic 
directions of national significance and warranting federal enforcement 
attention that should be considered. For example, in addition to 
considering traditional sector-based approaches, EPA is considering 
broadening the scope of a national enforcement initiative to include 
innovative programs, such as Next Generation Compliance, where the 
Agency feels the application of enforcement program resources would 
help address critical issues. Examples of Next Generation Compliance 
strategies include moving away from paper reporting to electronic 
reporting, incorporating compliance drivers into regulations, using 
advanced environmental monitoring technologies, and increasing 
transparency by making data more readily accessible. The public is 
invited to propose any other areas for consideration, keeping in mind 
the Agency's resource constraints. Please note that some current 
national enforcement initiatives may be carried forward or refined and 
continued into FY 2014-2016.

III. Can the deadline for comments be extended?

    No. EPA issues National Program Manager Guidance (NPM Guidance) to 
enable EPA, states, and federally-recognized Indian tribes (tribes) to 
effectively align their joint implementation of environmental laws to 
achieve mutual goals. The NPM guidance must be timely released for 
state, tribal, and public comment in order to allow the states and 
tribes with approved programs to consider the NPM Guidance fully in 
their annual planning processes. These processes direct state and 
tribal resources according to their fiscal calendars. As a result, EPA 
must receive public comments by February 27, 2013 in order to make 
national enforcement initiative selections in keeping with this 

    Dated: January 18, 2013.
Lisa Lund,
Director, Office of Compliance.
[FR Doc. 2013-01706 Filed 1-25-13; 8:45 am]