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Watch List Reports
The Watch List project has ended. The 2014 EPA assessment (PDF) (4 pp, 728 K) explains the review process and decision. The information below serves as a historical archive.
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Overview - 2011-2013 Archive
EPA maintains a "Watch List" to facilitate dialogue between EPA, state and local environmental agencies on enforcement matters relating to facilities with alleged violations identified as either significant or high priority. Being on the Watch List does not mean that the facility has actually violated the law only that an investigation by EPA or a state or local environmental agency has led those organizations to allege that an unproven violation has in fact occurred. Being on the Watch List does not represent a higher level of concern regarding the alleged violations that were detected, but instead indicates cases requiring additional dialogue between EPA, state and local agencies - primarily because of the length of time the alleged violation has gone unaddressed or unresolved.
When EPA and states identify serious environmental violations that warrant formal enforcement actions (and possibly penalties), there is an expectation that the government proceed with the enforcement action in a timely manner. The concept of timely enforcement is based on the need to minimize the length of time that violations continue. EPA established guidelines for timely enforcement that vary between statutes, but typically it is between 180 and 360 days. Due to the nature of the legal process and the complexities of some enforcement cases, it is understandable that EPA and states do not always meet the timeliness guidelines. Some facilities may be on the Watch List while progress is being made toward resolving the violation; meaning the violation was addressed, but, for example, a penalty may need to be paid or an environmentally beneficial project may need to be completed in order to resolve the violation. EPA's Watch List Fact Sheet (PDF) (3 pp, 109 K) provides more information about the Watch List.
ECHO and the Watch List - 2011-2013 Archive
ECHO enables searching for alleged violations that are noted by the government; serious violations will be noted as "Significant Noncompliance" or SNC for Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and Clean Water Act (CWA) facilities, or "High Priority Violation" or HPV for Clean Air Act facilities. The Watch List represents a subset of the SNC/HPV facilities. The Watch List is updated monthly. The most common reasons for changes in the Watch List from month-to-month are:
- a formal enforcement action was taken, removing a facility from the Watch List
- a data error was corrected, which may either add or remove a facility from the Watch List
- the violation was corrected without enforcement (primarily applies to the CWA)
- a SNC/HPV went beyond enforcement policy timelines without enforcement, adding a facility to the Watch List.
EPA does not release specific information about the reason for inclusion or removal from the Watch List because that information is enforcement sensitive.
For ECHO users that would like to research the underlying alleged violation that caused a facility to be on the Watch List, the facility identification number can be obtained from the Watch List provided below. The identification number can be copied and pasted into an ECHO facility search. An ECHO Detailed Facility Report provides a history of compliance that shows the SNC/HPV information, and additional details about the underlying violation. For facilities that have recently left the Watch List due to an enforcement action, the ECHO report will list that enforcement action.
|Sep 2011 Watch List||Clean Air Act (PDF) (6 pp, 40 K)||Clean Water Act (PDF) (6 pp, 52 K)||Hazardous Waste (RCRA) (PDF) (5 pp, 43 K)|
|Oct 2011 Watch List||Clean Air Act (PDF) (5 pp, 105 K)||Clean Water Act (PDF) (5 pp, 134 K)||Hazardous Waste (RCRA) (PDF) (5 pp, 109 K)|
|Nov 2011 Watch List||Clean Air Act (PDF) (5 pp, 103 K)||Clean Water Act (PDF) (5 pp, 135 K)||Hazardous Waste (RCRA) (PDF) (5 pp, 109 K)|
|Dec 2011 Watch List||Clean Air Act (PDF) (4 pp, 93 K)||Clean Water Act (PDF) (6 pp, 155 K)||Hazardous Waste (RCRA) (PDF) (5 pp, 110 K)|