Frequent Questions

How do EPA, the states and tribes work together to enforce environmental laws and promote compliance?

Once a law is passed by Congress, EPA drafts regulations to clarify how to put it into effect. To ensure consistency and fairness, EPA also develops enforcement programs and uses policies and guidance to assist the regulated community to interpret and implement the regulations.

Our federal environmental laws set national standards for environmental protection, and provided that a state can assume primary responsibility enforcing these standards, it adopts laws that are at least as stringent as the federal laws. Many states have assumed this responsibility through delegation of specific programs.

The federal government continues to have enforcement authority in all cases, and EPA has oversight responsibility over the states' activities, and monitoring state and tribal implementation of EPA approved programs.

EPA works cooperatively with the states and tribes to better achieve effective enforcement and environmental compliance, and continues to support approved state programs through grant funding, and sharing the work.

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