Compliance and Enforcement
EPA, OSHA, and the Department of Justice monitor members of industry as well as municipal organizations to ensure compliance with federal regulations on the health and safety of workers, consumers, and the environment. Citations from EPA often result in settlements under consent decrees, with the offender agreeing to regain compliance, pay a fine, and complete some sort of costly project to mitigate the environmental harm caused by the offense.
This is not always the case. EPA does press criminal charges against some offenders, and it even maintains a fugitive list of those indicted for environmental crimes who have chosen to flee rather than face charges. EPA officials hope that the agency’s record of a 90 percent conviction rate will help deter potential polluters from breaking the law in the first place.