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EPA Sets Enforcement Priorities To Address Climate Change

admin  -   02:14 pm  -   October 12th, 2023

The Environmental Protection Agency has released its Climate Enforcement and Compliance Strategy to address climate change via increased enforcement activities. This means that the agency's enforcement office will (1) prioritize enforcement and compliance actions to mitigate climate change; (2) include climate adaptation and resilience in case conclusions whenever appropriate; and (3) provide technical assistance to achieve climate-related solutions and build climate change capacity among EPA staff and our state and local partners.

In addition, EPA recently announced its National Enforcement and Compliance Initiative (NECI) on climate change, which for the next four fiscal years will target methane emissions from oil and gas facilities and landfills as well as illegal importation of hydrofluorocarbons. According to the EPA, methane is a climate super-pollutant that is more than 25 times as potent as carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere.

Under this NECI, EPA will focus on inspecting and addressing noncompliance at facilities using extremely hazardous substances that pose a high risk to communities, including hydrogen fluoride. The agency noted that recent incidents involving the release or potential release of highly toxic hydrogen fluoride, used in petrochemical manufacturing, and concerns about the potentially catastrophic consequences of a hydrogen fluoride release support a focus on these facilities using these hazardous chemicals in their processes.