Associated Press by Michael Daly and Matthew Phillips
Washington, DC – The Environmental Protection Agency conducted more on-site inspections of polluting industrial sites this year than any time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency said Monday as it seeks to reinvigorate its enforcement program after more than a decade of budget cuts. EPA opened nearly 200 criminal investigations this year, a 70% increase over 2022, the agency said in a report. It completed nearly 1,800 civil settlements, a 9% increase over 2022. More than half the inspections and settlements involved poor and disadvantaged communities long scarred by pollution, the agency said, reflecting the Biden administration’s emphasis on environmental justice issues. For full text, click here.