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Failure to comply with environmental regulations impacts the resources of the county and its citizens. Enforcement of regulations in a manner designed to bring about immediate and continued compliance with EPC's Enabling Act and rules is essential. Enforcement activities can be administrative proceedings or civil actions before a court of competent jurisdiction. Compliance can also be compelled through the prosecution of environmental crimes, and although the EPC Legal Department does not prosecute these crimes, it serves as an agency liaison with law enforcement and prosecutors.

Standard enforcement procedures involve identification of a possible problem, and communication with the responsible party to determine the facts. Where correction occurs promptly, many times further enforcement action is usually not necessary. Warning Notices or warning letters are often sent to the responsible party to be certain that they are aware of the concern and given an opportunity to correct it.

Often, a case can be resolved through a negotiated settlement (e.g. - Consent Order, Short Form Consent Order, etc.) specifying the corrections that are agreed upon, a time frame for implementing them, and provisions to recover agency enforcement costs, along with a monetary settlement in lieu of a civil penalty. Settlement payments are made to the Pollution Recovery Fund. The Enabling Act provides for civil penalties of up to $5,000 per violation per day and Chapter 403 provides for civil penalties of up to $10,000 per violation per day. Where settlement cannot be agreed upon, the Executive Director is responsible for pursuing civil law suits or issuing a Citation or a Notice of Violation, which is a formal administrative finding of violation.

View EPC and DEP Penalty Guidelines and Matrices (Please contact EPC staff for the most up to date guidelines and matrices, as they are subject to change by the EPC or DEP).