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Enforcement Policy, Guidance & Publications

National policy, guidance and publications relating to EPA's enforcement of environmental laws.

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On this page:

Cross-Program Policies

On other pages:

Media and Program-Specific Information

Temporary COVID-19 Enforcement Policy

NOTE: After August 31, 2020, the Temporary Enforcement Policy is no longer in effect.

EPA is mindful of the health and safety of the public, as well as our staff, and those of Federal Agencies, State and Local Governments, Tribes, Regulated Entities, Contractors, and Non-governmental Organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The agency is taking these important considerations into account as we all continue our work to protect human health and the environment. Accordingly, EPA has issued a temporary policy regarding EPA enforcement of environmental legal obligations during the COVID-19 pandemic:  

 For additional information on the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit:

General Civil Enforcement Penalty Policies

These policies provide guidance on the calculation of civil penalties in enforcement cases.

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Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEP) and Mitigation Policies

These policies provide guidance on how and when to include a SEP or a mitigation project in an enforcement settlement.

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Penalty Inflation Rules and Penalty Policy Amendments

EPA is required by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 (as amended) to annually adjusting statutory civil penalties to reflect inflation, according to a prescribed formula.  Prior to 2016, penalty adjustments were required every few years.  However, the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 required these adjustments on an annual basis, beginning in 2016.  Similarly, but separately, EPA amends its penalty policies to account for inflation.  Note that only the 2020 Penalty Inflation Adjustments and a portion of the 2013 Penalty Inflation Adjustments are in effect (as explained in Part II of the 2020 guidance); all other penalty adjustments have been superseded and are retained here for reference purposes.

2021 Penalty Inflation Rule Adjustments

2020 Penalty Inflation Rule Adjustments

2019 Penalty Inflation Rule Adjustments

2018 Penalty Inflation Rule Adjustments

2017 Penalty Inflation Rule Adjustments

2016 Penalty Inflation Rule Adjustments

2013 Penalty Inflation Rule Adjustments

2008-2010 Penalty Inflation Rule Adjustments

2004 Penalty Inflation Rule Adjustments

1997 Penalty Inflation Rule Adjustments

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Enforcement in Indian Country

Guidance for working with federally-recognized Indian tribes to ensure compliance at federally-regulated facilities in Indian country.

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Additional Cross-Program Policies and Guidance

Audit Policies

Small Businesses and Enforcement

Expedited Settlements

Case Management, Oversight and Related Issues

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