REMARKS OF
                        LEE M.  THOMAS
                        ADMINISTRATOR
             U.S.  ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
                          BEFORE THE
            SECOND NATIONAL ENFORCEMENT CONFERENCE
                       WASHINGTON, D.C.
                      FEBRUARY  13, 1985
     It is a pleasure to be here today.  This is my first

speaking engagement since my confirmation last week.

Enforcement was a theme I stressed before the Senate, and it

is one I will stress as Administrator.

     My appearance here today allows me to emphasize again

the importance of enforcement in my overall strategy for

managing EPA.  It is gratifying to see representatives here

not only from EPA, but also from the States and the Justice

Department.  For I also see this conference as an opportunity

for all of us to discuss what we need to be doing together to

accomplish our objectives.

     Just over a year ago, most of us were sitting over in

Alexandria at the Old Colony Motel.  Bill Ruckelshaus was

standing up front saying exactly what he felt about the way

things were going in EPA's enforcement program.  Invoking

images of gorillas in closets and tigers in tanks, he told us

what he expected us to do to correct an unacceptable situation.

I felt the heat, and I'm sure many of you did too.

     Let me say as clearly as I can that the heat applied

last January is still on  full blast.  Enforcement is an

essential part of this agency's overall mission.  There can

be no let-down.

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     During the last 12 months, we all worked very hard and



we achieved some impressive results.  The number of administrative



orders, civil referrals, criminal actions, and settlements



are all up.  In fact, 1984 saw EPA take a record number of



enforcement actions.  I expect us to maintain this momentum.



     In keeping the enforcement program moving, we must be



careful that the quantity of actions is matched with the



quality of individual efforts.  And we must follow through to



assure that the steps we take to enforce the law are fully



obeyed.  Where administrative orders are not followed, we



must be ready to take judicial action.  Even then, we must be



sure that our consent decrees and judicial orders are obeyed.



     These are my overall enforcement goals.  Enforcement is



a top priority of mine.  I want enforcement to be fully



integrated into each EPA program.  And in so doing, we must



employ all of our enforcement tools  administrative, civil



and criminal  as we implement our basic statutes.  Additionally,



enforcement must be carried out consistently by all levels



of government.



     Let's remember that EPA's mission is progress in achieving



environmental improvement.  We achieve that progress by



setting sound standards and enforcing them.  The regulated



community must know that we are committed to assuring this



progress.  We encourage them to help us move forward on a



voluntary basis.  But where they are unwilling, we will



rigorously enforce our  laws and our standards.

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     Of course, EPA cannot do it all alone.  We must rely on



the States to carry a significant burden.  After all, it is



the States who are closest to the problems.  And it is the



States who conduct the bulk of all compliance and enforcement



activities.



     Therefore, we must assure that our colleagues in the



States, and where appropriate at the local level, are



fully involved in the enforcement program.  States are



absolutely critical to the success of the enforcement program



in EPA.



     An effective working relationship requires a clear



understanding between EPA and the States as to our respective



roles.  The timely and appropriate response policy  establishing



timeframes for escalating enforcement actions until compliance



is achieved  is an essential element in clearly defining



these roles.



     At the same time, it is important that the States



understand EPA has a responsibility to implement national



programs.  We must ensure full, consistent, vigorous



implementation of our laws and regulations.



     Where necessary, EPA will step in and take enforcement



actions consistent with what has been established in our



enforcement agreements with the States.  Here, too, our



actions must be consistent with the timely and appropriate



policy.  Adequate advance consultation with the states is



also necessary.

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     As Administrator,  I will emphasize the need for a balanced



approach to enforcement.  Each of our tools must be incorporated



into our plans.  We will use administrative and judicial



authorities.  We will take civil and criminal actions against



violators.  The regulated community and the public must know



that EPA and the States are willing and able to fully,



forcefully and aggressively use each of these tools to obtain



compliance.



     Special attention needs to be given to the role of civil



penalties in this balanced program.  We took an important



step forward last year when we developed our agency penalty



policy.  We will follow through this year in assuring that



program-specific penalty policies are developed and implemented.



     We will also work to include administrative penalty



authority in all of our statutes.  Our policy for EPA is to



assure that those who violate the law must not enjoy any



economic benefit from non-compliance.  Administrative penalties



will help us to achieve this goal.



     With this philosophy in mind, I want the States to



understand  how important a  tool penalties can be for them.



Effective use of penalties  will not only help them  to correct



individual  violations,  it will  also deter  future violations



and promote practices which  prevent non-compliance.



     Beyond these basic goals of  integrating enforcement  into



our strategy for implementing our laws and working  closely



with the  states, we  need  to devote  time  to  innovative  thinking.



We must explore new  ways of  more  effectively carrying out our



compliance  and enforcement  responsibilities.

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     Multi-media inspections may play an increasingly important



role, for example.  We need to identify circumstances where



one inspector, or one inspection team, can conduct required



inspections for more than one program at a single facility.



I would appreciate your thoughts on that.



     When I was in the hazardous waste program, we talked



about alternatives to litigation for Superfund cleanups 



concepts like mediation, arbitration, and pay-and-walk.  In



the toxic substances program, we have the "settlement-with-



conditions" tool  for implementing the asbestos-in-schools



program.



     These are also  ideas which may have broader application



to other EPA  compliance and enforcement efforts.  Again, I



urge you to share your views with me on these.



     We must  also work to build a closer and more cooperative



relationship  with the Department of Justice.   Courtney Price



and the program compliance  directors  in EPA's  media  offices



are giving this a high priority.  I encourage  this effort.



     To help  forge this relationship, I ask all  senior regional



managers to pursue similar  partnerships.  It  is  especially



important to  have close cooperation with those U.S.  Attorney



offices where we  have important cases, or expect them  to



evolve.  And  I encourage our colleages in the  States to give



the same priority to working with their State  attorneys



general.

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     Another major priority in the coming year will be the



development of a criminal enforcement strategy.  This strategy



will target certain industrial and business activities that



we believe require aggressive pro-active investigation.  In



this way, we can use criminal enforcement to supplement our



other compliance activities.



     Again, coordination with State and local agencies, other



Federal agencies, and the Justice Department will be critical



to our success in criminal enforcement.  Equally important



will be solid, cooperative relationships with regional counsels,



regional program staffs, and headquarters program offices.



     I need to say a few words about Federal facilities.



Federal compliance with environmental laws should be a model



for all others in the regulated community.  That is my



expectation, and I believe it is the expectation of all



Americans.  But I am not at all satisfied this is now the case.



     Much more needs to be done by EPA at headquarters and in



the regions, as well as by other Federal agencies.  States, too,



need to be ready to take the same firm, vigorous steps with



Federal facilities they apply to others in the regulated community.



     As I said earlier, your accomplishments during the past



year have been impressive.  We will not lose our momentum.



Continuing that momentum will require more hard work, and



more long hours.  We will be under mounting pressure to deal



with a wide range of issues.  Often, our work will be done



on a crisis basis.  But we will continue to achieve measurable




results.

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     With those general themes in mind, let's turn now to



some program-specific priorities.  These priorities reflect



the goals of our senior managers.  I believe they fairly



represent the priorities we will pursue together.



     I would like to look at the hazardous waste program



first.  After all, I have been living with RCRA and Superfund



for the past two years.



     Enforcement plays a vital role in the Superfund program.



The amount of cleanup taking place as a result of enforcement



actions is an increasingly significant part of our overall



cleanup effort.  Last year, we achieved 76 responsible party



settlements valued at over $145 million.  A total of 150



administrative orders were issued.  There were 41 cases



referred to the Justice Department; 36 cases were filed with



the courts.



     These numbers are greater than the total numbers of



compliance and enforcement actions taken prior to 1984.  At



the same time, we completed critical guidance and delegated



major program management authority to the Regions,  I think



that is real progress.  But we will not let down,



     Superfund is a good example of a program where balance



is necessary between use of administrative and judicial



authorities.  We will complement our administrative efforts



with vigorous judicial action.  We will demonstrate a



willingness to go to court when necessary.

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     Our cost-recovery program is just getting into high

gear.  A number of issues must be resolved to permit us to

handle the increasing volume of cost-recovery actions which

will be initiated.  It will be our policy to take action to

recover all costs incurred by government in Superfund response

actions.

     At the same time, we will look for alternative strategies

for settling cost recovery actions, especially when relatively

small sums of money are involved.  Superfund cost recovery is

an excellent example of the need to focus on management

planning and systems, and the  importance of clear relationships

among Headquarters offices, the Regions, the States, and the

Justice Department.

     RCRA has become one of the most  visible and demanding of
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all  programs during  the past year.  We  have a new law which

vastly  expands  the size of  the regulated community..  Broadened

enforcement authorities blur the distinction between RCRA  and

Superfund and provide new options  for corrective actions at

RCRA facilities.  Congress  has pushed hard  for  alternatives

to  land disposal  of  hazardous  waste.  This  is reflected  in

the  directions  we are taking  for off-site disposal  of  Superfund

wastes.

      Headquarters has worked  closely  with the Regions  and  the

States  on a number of task  forces  to  meet the RCRA  reauthorization

challenge.  This  cooperation  is  critical  for  successful

 implementation  of the new law.

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     The problem of groundwater contamination by hazardous




waste is a particularly important issue.   Notwithstanding all



the progress EPA and the States have made in enforcing RCRA,



we recognize that in this critical area it appears that many




land disposal facilities are not in full compliance with our



regulations,,



     A RCRA groundwater task force has been established,



reporting directly to the Assistant Administrator for Solid



Waste and Emergency Response.  This group will play an important



role in coordinating RCRA groundwater activities.  It will




work to make sure that every RCRA interim status or permitted



facility with groundwater monitoring requirements has a  full,




comprehensive inspection.



     The team will focus first on major commercial facilities




which are actual or potential  recipients of  Superfund wastes.



They will be working through and with various headquarters




organizations,  the Regions, and  the States.  Their work  will




be tied to  on-going State and  Regional inspection activities.



This team has my personal support.  I urge  you  to give  it



your full cooperation.



     Turning to toxics and  pesticides  issues, I  think  it is



absolutely  critical that we have  sound working  relationships




between Headquarters,  the Regions,  and the  States.  We  are




launching a pilot  State grant  program under the  Toxic  Substances




Control Act under  which 15  States will monitor  compliance



with TSCA regulations.  Among  those substances  to be monitored




are asbestos and PCBs.

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     Again, I want us to spend the time necessary to make



sure that State personnel have the necessary tools to conduct



quality inspections and maintain effective enforcement



programs.



     We will be giving continued priority to the asbestos-in-



schools program.  Enforcement actions will be pursued



aggressively.



     A second priority addresses the information submission



requirements of both TSCA and the Federal Insecticide,



Fungicide and Rodenticide Act.  We depend upon timely, complete



and accurate data.  Non-compliance seriously jeopardizes the



agency's .ability to make regulatory decisions necessary to



protect public health and the environment.  We will be



stressing data audits and laboratory inspections to assure



compliance.



     We need to take a very strong position on data fraud



under all of our programs.  Along with such RCRA violations



as illegal dumping and fuel blending, this is an area where



the criminal enforcement program should  and will  be



involved.



     In the air program, we want to give a major focus to



continuing compliance by both stationary and mobile sources



of air pollution.  We will enhance inspection capabilities



through training and increase use of continuous emissions



monitoring.

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     For stationary sources, we need to give priority attention




to major sources affecting non-attainment areas.  I stress



again  and this is becoming a refrain  EPA and the States




must work together to make sure inspectors are fully versed




in the laws and regulations, even as more complex requirements



are imposed.




     We need to continue to bring enforcement actions against




those who use leaded fuels in cars designed only for unleaded



products, and those who remove or tamper with emissions controls



It is clear that effective inspection and maintenance programs




at the State and local levels are critically important.  So



are State and local efforts to prevent tampering and misfueling.



We must be willing to ensure programs are' implemented where




needed, and that corrective action is taken for those I/M



programs that are inadequate.



     Yet another priority for the air program deals with




hazardous air pollutants.  We will move forward aggressively



this year to complete a large number of listings and regulatory



efforts under Section 112 of the Clean Air Act.  Finally, we



will expand the air program's initiatives to control volatile



organic compounds.  Compliance and enforcement strategies




will be devised for smaller VOC sources in non-attainment




areas.



     The National Municipal Strategy will be a continuing




priority of the water program.  We are serious about July




1988 as the outside compliance deadline.

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     Let me say at this point that I am aware many of you put



yourselves on the line in support of this program.  I know



that actions had to be taken which were unpopular at times



and which required direct and difficult dealings with those



we regulate.  I appreciate what you have done.  You have my



full support.  I anticipate this will be an increasingly



controversial component of our enforcement program, but an



extremely important one.



     This agency is committed to the goal of enforceable



compliance schedules  for all affected municipalities by the



end of  fiscal year 1985.  That  is just a little more than



seven months  from now.  As you  know better than I, working



with local governments, many of which have serious financial



problems, is  a task requiring all the understanding, sensitivity



and firmness  of purpose that this agency can muster.  Regional



Administrators should pay close attention to  this process  and



involve themselves whenever  necessary.



     A  second water enforcement priority  is  to  assure compliance



with pretreatment requirements  by publicly owned  treatment works,



This  is an  example of how EPA  and the  Department  of  Justice



can work together to  design  and implement  imaginative



enforcement  strategies which provide a  targeted approach.



     As of  last month, some  350 POTWs  had  failed  to  submit



complete and approvable pretreatment programs.   Our  goal is



to have all  such  programs submitted and approved, or to have



initiated judicial actions  against  the violators, by the end



of fiscal year  1985.

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     To make this objective easier., we have agreed with the



Justice Department on a streamlined process that calls for




simultaneous filing of 15 okr more civil complaints nationwide.



This coordinated approach will send a strong message that we




are serious about the pretreatment program.  It also represents




a model we and Justice may find relevant to other enforcement



initiatives.



     In closing> let me stress once again how important this




meeting is.:  1 ask each of you to take advantage of these two



days v.vith your full cooperation*



     I leave yea with these final thoughts:




     o Last year, Bill Ruckelshaus turned on the heat  in the



enforcement program.  The heat  is still on.  We will continue



to produce results,




     o 1 expect both quantity and quality  in the enforcement



program.  'We cannot eff'ord to lose our momentum,




     o We must ensure that enforcement is  an integral  part  of



the  implementation of esch of our  environmental programs.



National program manages  and regional program managers  are



clearly accountable for ensuring that  this  happens.




    o We need  tc commit th'ne and effort to  sitting down  and



building strong relationships among  EPA Headquarters,  the




Regions, the States,  localities  and  the Justice Department.

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     o  There must be a balanced enforcement program



using all appropriate tools  administrative and civil



authorities, criminal law, settlements, and alternatives



to litigation.



     o  Our enforcement effort must be consistent nationally



and we must implement it with firmness and fairness at



all levels of government.



      The task ahead is not easy.  But the challenge is



there.  Compliance will continue to be a major goal in each



environmental program.  To achieve that compliance, we must



have the commitment of our managers, effective policies and



procedures, adequate resources, and the will to make it



happen.



     Thank you for having me here today.



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