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Funding Cuts Caused EPA Enforcement to Plummet, Watchdog Says

May 13, 2021, 5:15 PM

The EPA’s enforcement has been dropping dramatically, driven by budget cuts and shifting approaches across several administrations, the agency’s internal watchdog said in a Thursday report.

As a result, the Environmental Protection Agency “may not be adequately addressing violators, who thereby gain an advantage over regulated entities that comply” with environmental rules, according to the agency’s Office of Inspector General.

The reductions were driven in part by cuts in enforcement personnel—the EPA lost 675 enforcement officers between fiscal 2007 and 2018. Other factors included leadership decisions to pursue cases that they deemed the most serious and an increased reliance ...

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