EPA overstates pollution enforcement, says GAO.
While the EPA reports the penalties it issues polluters, it doesn’t report which fines are actually paid. Furthermore, pollution reduction estimates are skewed because they’re based on “estimates of relief and reductions to be realized when violators come into compliance,” said the report. Furthermore, the Department of Justice, not the EPA, has ultimate control of enforcement outcomes.
The Associated Press reported that House Energy and Commerce Committee chair John Dingell (D-Mich.) said, “The bottom line is that environmental enforcement has significantly declined since the Bush administration took office.”