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Enforcement Case Search Help
The ECHO Enforcement Case Search queries civil cases entered into the Integrated Compliance Information System (ICIS) and criminal cases entered into the Summary of Criminal Prosecutions database.
- ICIS tracks administrative and judicial civil enforcement actions taken by the U.S. EPA, and federally reportable enforcement actions of State agency Clean Water Act - National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) programs, and federally reportable state and local Clean Air Act enforcement actions. Civil enforcement actions under the following statutes are included in ICIS:
- Clean Air Act (CAA)
- Clean Water Act (CWA)
- Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)
- Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA)
- Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA or Superfund)
- Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)
- Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) Section 313
- Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA)
- Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act (MPRSA)
- The Summary of Criminal Prosecutions tracks concluded criminal enforcement cases resulting from environmental investigations by the U.S. EPA.
Conduct a targeted search to identify enforcement cases and download data based on detailed search criteria. The ECHO Enforcement Case Search form is organized into two primary areas:
You have the option of switching from a limited set of search options to the full set by clicking “View More Options” (or “View Fewer Options”, as applicable) just above the search form.
ECHO provides powerful search capabilities offering many search criteria to target your results. Related ECHO search criteria are organized into categories. Expand or collapse the categories by clicking the corresponding arrow or using the “Expand All” or “Collapse All” links. ECHO is designed to simplify your search experience. A subset of the most common search criteria are displayed by default, but the option to see advanced search criteria in a category is only one click away – just click the “View More Options” link.
Advanced search options are automatically displayed if you are a government user (ECHO Gov) or you arrive at the search page by the Advanced Enforcement Case Search link. Advanced search options are shown on the search form with a icon.
The Search Criteria Guide provides detailed descriptions of each search term by category or alphabetized by term.
ECHO keeps track of selected search criteria on the right side of the page. Search terms are listed in the Search Criteria Selected panel after you complete them on the left. The search criteria are organized by the same categories and only appear once they are completed. Click the X to easily delete a search term from your search. If you decide to start over you can click the "Clear All" link to reset your search.
Click Search to retrieve your results. You are able to customize the columns that are displayed on the search results page by clicking Customize Columns after the results load.
Note: You can get search results of up to 60,000 enforcement cases. Please note, however, that searches that return a large number of cases may load very slowly. A warning message appears if your search results exceed 60,000 cases and you must narrow your search.
Search criteria are organized by search form category or alphabetically by term through the hyperlinks below. Criteria specific to each case type (e.g., civil only) are identified below. Advanced search criteria are identified below by the icon.
- Case Identifiers
- Facility Locations
- Case Attributes
- Case Milestones and Dates
- Enforcement Case Outcomes/Settlements
Alphabetically -- Choose a search term:
- Case Type
- Select to search for civil and/or criminal enforcement actions. The default search is "Any"
- Civil actions are actions in response to a violation of environmental regulations. Civil actions may be enforcement actions taken by EPA or a state (under its own authority) or formal lawsuits filed by the U.S. Department of Justice on behalf of EPA. Criminal actions can occur when EPA or a state enforce against a company or person through a criminal action. Criminal actions are usually reserved for the most serious violations, those that are willful, or knowingly committed. A court conviction can result in fines or imprisonment. See Enforcement Basic Information for more detail about the differences between civil and criminal enforcement actions.
- Case Category (Civil only)
- Restrict search results to either judicial or administrative formal cases. "Any" does not restrict results.
- Administrative Formal Cases are non-judicial enforcement actions taken by EPA or a state under its own authority, without involving a judicial court process. A formal administrative action by EPA or a state agency is typically in the form of an order or agreement (either with or without penalties) directing an individual, a business, or other entity to take action to come into compliance, or to clean up a site.
- Judicial Cases are formal lawsuits, filed in court, against persons or entities that have failed to comply with statutory or regulatory requirements, with an administrative order, or who owe response costs for cleaning up a Superfund site. Federal cases are filed by the U.S. Department of Justice on behalf of EPA. Where a settlement is negotiated in advance of filing, it is lodged and the entered with the court as a consent decree or court order.
- Case Lead (Civil only)
- Restrict search results based on the agency responsible for the civil case, to either Federal EPA, state or both ("Any"). The default search value is "Federal EPA".
- Selecting the "State" option disables the following criteria due to differences in state and EPA reporting requirements:
- State-lead enforcement cases are limited to those related to Clean Air Act (CAA) stationary sources and Clean Water Act (CWA) dischargers and may not offer the amount of information available for EPA cases due to differences in reporting requirements. Unlike EPA cases, states are not required to indicate the specific law section(s) cited by the enforcement action. One potential result of these considerations is that when "Any" is used in the same query as Law Cited and/or Section(s) Cited, those parameters may exclude all state cases. For example, a query for Case Lead = "Any" and Law Cited = "RCRA" would only return EPA cases, since the data system of record does not contain any state RCRA actions. Use ECHO facility searches to search for hazardous waste or drinking water state enforcement actions.
- Search for enforcement actions which contain a name or partial name in any or all of the following fields: Case Name (civil only), Defendant Name (civil and criminal), and Facility Name (civil only). Be sure to try all possible variations of a name. For example, if an abbreviation does not work, try using whole words (i.e., International Metals Company instead of INMETCO). The search is not case sensitive. Words separated by a space are treated as one search term. Separate multiple search terms with a semi-colon (“;”). If a name is entered, a selection may be made to specify the field the name applies to (Name Type).
- Use the dropdown list to adjust the name search logic. You do not need to use wildcard characters (* or %) in the case name field to specify search logic. Note: You can only associate one type of search logic with selected search terms.
- Find Facility Name(s) That:
- Contains Each Term (DEFAULT) – Returns cases where all words in the case name search terms are present. The order of the words in a search term does not affect the search results.
For example, searching for “town bridge” returns results that contain both “town” and “bridge”, e.g., “Bridgeport Township” or “Middletown Bridge”
- Matches Exactly – Returns cases where the name search terms exactly match the name.
For example, searching for “The First Company” only returns results with a name exactly matching all terms and in this order.
- Matches Exact Phrase – Returns cases where all search terms are found anywhere within the name. The order of the words in a search term affects the search results.
For example, searching for “town bridge” returns different results than searching for “bridge town”
- Begins With - Returns cases where the name search terms are found at the beginning of the name.
For example, searching for “bridge” returns results that begin with “bridge”, such as “Bridgeport” and “Bridgestone,” but excludes results like “Middlebridge”.
- Contains Each Term (DEFAULT) – Returns cases where all words in the case name search terms are present. The order of the words in a search term does not affect the search results.
- Note: For civil enforcement cases, the search results screen only displays the Case Name; it does not contain the name of the violating facility or defendants/respondents that may have been used as a selection criterion. Consequently, if a name was used as one of the criteria and the Facility or Defendant boxes were selected, that name may not appear in the Case Name results column. Users should assume that if the name specified is not contained as the Case Name that it is represented in the facility name or as a defendant. The facility name and defendant names may be found in the Civil Enforcement Case Report. For criminal enforcement cases, the search results screen displays the defendant name(s).
- Name Type (Civil only)
- Select the field type in which the name may be found. See Name above. If the user enters a name into the search form, "Any" will be selected by default. Multiple values may selected using the Control (Ctrl) key.
- ICIS Case Number (Civil only)
- Search for a specific case based on the ICIS Case Number, the unique number identifying the enforcement action. No other criteria should be entered.
Federal EPA case numbers follow the format 01-2004-1111, with 01 indicating the appropriate EPA region (or HQ (headquarters), EF (CAA Mobile Source Eastern Field Office), or WF (CAA Mobile Source Western Field Office)), 2004 indicating the fiscal year the case was initiated, and 1111 being a sequential number unique to the case.
State case numbers begin with the state postal abbreviation followed by a hyphen and up to 17 additional characters or numbers to uniquely identify the case.
- DOJ Docket Number (Civil only)
- Search for a specific case based on the docket number assigned by the Department of Justice to EPA's enforcement action. This number will identify cases in the Federal Register and in DOJ press releases when a settlement is lodged and entered. This criterion is disabled when searching on only state-lead enforcement cases (Case Lead = "State").
- Facility ID Number (Civil only)
- Search for enforcement cases by Facility Registry Service (FRS) identification number.
- Industry (Civil only)
- Search for enforcement cases by industry classification (i.e., SIC or NAICS codes) using the following criteria. Searching on both SIC and NAICS codes will return cases that match either value.
- SIC Code
- Search for cases based on the SIC code of facilities associated with the case. The Standard Industrial Classification Code describes the primary activity of the facility. The first two digits in the code define a major business sector; the last two digits denote a facility's specialty within the major sector. ECHO allows you to search SIC Codes in multiple ways:
- Choose a 2-digit SIC Code from the drop-down menu.
- Type the 3- or 4-digit SIC Code into the text box. Click the Add More button to add a value to the Selected Search Criteria panel and clear the input field for a new value.
- SIC Code Lookup - Search for SIC codes by keyword.
- NAICS Code
- Search for cases based on the NAICS code of facilities associated with the case. The six digit NAICS code describes the primary activity of the facility. The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) replaced the U.S. Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system. NAICS industries are identified by a 6-digit code. The first two digits represent the Industry sector, in which there exist 20 broad sectors. The third digit represents industry subsector, the fourth digit represents industry group, the fifth digit represents industry, and the sixth digit is U.S., Canadian, or Mexican National specific. ECHO allows you to search NAICS codes by general industry sector (the two-digit NAICS code) or by industry specialty (the three, four, five, or six-digit NAICS Code).
- Type the 2-, 3-, 4-, 5-, or 6-digit NAICS code into the text box. Click the Add More button to add a value to the Selected Search Criteria panel and clear the input field for a new value.
- Find NAICS Code by Keyword - Search for 2- to 6-digit NAICS codes by keyword. Enter at least one character. Select a NAICS code from the dropdown list to add it to the search criteria selected panel and clear the input field for a new value. Multiple selections are allowed; however, users may only select one value at a time from the dropdown list.
- EPA Region
- Search for cases with associated facilities located in a specific EPA Region. Choose a region from the dropdown menu. You may not combine an EPA Region search with a city/state, state, or ZIP Code search.
- Search for cases with associated facilities located in a specific city. A state must be specified.
- Search for cases with associated facilities located in a specific state. Hold down the CTRL key to select multiple states. You may not combine a state search with a region or ZIP Code search.
- ZIP Code
- Search for cases with associated facilities located in a specific ZIP code. Enter up to a five-digit ZIP code. Entering a partial ZIP code results with any ZIP beginning with the entry. You may not combine a ZIP Code search with a city, state, or region search. Click the Add More button to add a value to the Selected Search Criteria panel and clear the input field for a new value.
- County (Civil only)
- Search for civil cases with associated facilities located in a specific county. After you choose a state, the County dropdown menu is populated with state-specific county options. The list of counties is not populated when multiple states are selected. You may not combine a county search with a region, city, or ZIP Code search.
- District Court (Criminal only)
- Search for criminal cases based on the district court associated with one or more of the defendants in the case. Note that there may be multiple district courts associated with the enforcement case when there are multiple defendants. The United States district courts are the trial courts of the federal court system. There are 94 federal judicial districts, located in all states and territories of the United States. States may have more than one district, these districts are broken down by geographic location. The following acronyms are used:
- Eastern District, E.D.
- Western District, W.D.
- Northern District, N.D.
- Southern District, S.D.
- Central District, C.D.
- In Indian Country (Civil only)
- When “Yes” is selected, your search results will be limited to enforcement cases for facilities or permits that EPA’s Facility Registry Service flags as being located in Indian country, based on information from EPA national program data systems of record. The accuracy and completeness of this information varies by system. “Indian country” is defined by statute at 18 U.S.C. 1151 and includes all lands within Indian reservations, dependent Indian communities, and allotted lands. When “NO” is selected, your search results will exclude any facilities or permits that are located in Indian country. “Any” will not restrict search results.
- On or Near Tribal Land (Civil only) (Under Development)
- Search for enforcement cases for facilities that are located on or near tribal land. When “Within X miles” is selected, your search results will be limited to facilities or permits on tribal land and within the selected radius. “No Restrictions” is selected by default and does not restrict search results. You can focus your search on a specific tribal land using the “Tribes” criteria. Please note that facilities must have locational data (latitude/longitude) in EPA's Facility Registry Service to be included in this search. Data Quality Caveat
- Near US-Mexico Border (Civil only)
- When ”Yes” is selected, your search results will be limited to enforcement cases involving facilities within 100 km of the US-Mexico border. “Any” will not restrict search results.
Data Quality Caveat: EPA makes no claims regarding the accuracy or precision of data concerning Indian country locations or boundaries on the ECHO website. EPA has simply attempted to collect certain readily available information relating to Indian country locations. Questions concerning data should be referred to the originating program or Agency which can be identified in the Envirofacts tribal query metadata files Lower48 Tribal Areas, Alaska Reservation, Alaska Native Villages, or Alaska Native Allotments. The Indian country locations shown here are suitable only for general spatial reference and do not necessarily reflect EPA's position on any Indian country locations or boundaries or the land status of any specific location. The inclusion of Indian country information on the ECHO website does not represent any final EPA action addressing Indian country locations or boundaries. This information cannot be relied upon to create any rights, substantive or procedural, enforceable by any party in litigation with the United States or third parties. EPA reserves the right to change information on ECHO at any time without public notice.
EPA uses the U.S. Census Bureau 2010 tribal boundary layer data when developing environmental data query responses for tribes in the lower 48 United States and Bureau of Land Management Alaska State Office when developing environmental data query responses for tribes in Alaska. The tribal boundary locations identified are suitable only for general spatial reference and do not necessarily reflect EPA's position on any Indian country locations or boundaries, or the land status of any specific location. EPA seeks to use the best available national federal data and may refine the tribal boundary layer in the future as more accurate national federal data becomes available.
- Law Cited
- Search for cases based on the law violated and cited in the enforcement action. A list of possible Statute Codes (Law), Law Section Codes, and Law Section description combinations is available here (9 pp, 239 K, About PDF). This criterion is disabled when searching on only state-lead enforcement cases (Case Lead = "State").
- Civil Section(s) Cited (Civil only)
- Search for cases based on the section(s) of the law violated and cited in the enforcement action. You must select a Law Cited before selection the sections(s) cited. Use the lookup to select one or more specific sections of the selected law. A list of possible Statute Codes (Law), Law Section Codes, and Law Section description combinations is available here (9 pp, 239 K, About PDF). This criterion is disabled when searching on only state-lead enforcement cases (Case Lead = "State").
- Criminal Section(s) Cited (Criminal only)
- The citation of the law(s) violated and cited in the enforcement action. Laws are identified by their title and section in the U.S. Code (USC). Users can search for the text of the laws by navigating to the Office of the Law Revision Counsel. This criterion is disabled when searching on only state-lead enforcement cases (Case Lead = "State").
- Pollutant Name (Civil only) (Under Development)
- Search for civil enforcement cases based on the name of a substance associated with a case, as reported in ICIS.
Click the Pollutant Lookup link on the search form to search for a pollutant name. You can search for a pollutant name that begins with or contains your search term. After entering a search term, click the Lookup button. Select the checkbox next to a pollutant name and it will be added to the search criteria. This criterion only allows one pollutant name to be added.
- Current Case Status (Civil only)
- Select one or more current statuses of a civil judicial enforcement action. Civil judicial and administrative enforcement actions have separate status designations because their enforcement procedures are different. Current Case Status is based on the most recent milestone activity reported in the case record.
- Federal Facility/Cross Media Indicator (Civil only)
- Select a status to restrict search results to civil enforcement actions addressing programmatic area(s) of interest not specific to a particular statute (i.e., cross media), such as federal facilities, tribal, small businesses, and environmental justice. This indicator is assigned to the enforcement action as opposed to linked facilities.
- Multi Media Case (Civil only)
- Restrict search results to civil enforcement actions that involve more than one environmental media, and/or citing multiple laws.
- Federal Facility Involvement (Civil only)
- Restrict search results to civil enforcement cases that involve facilities that are federally owned or operated. This restriction is based on information about a facility linked to the case, rather than the case being identified as the result of a priority, program, or initiative.
- Violation (Civil only)
- Select from designations of the type of violation(s) associated with the enforcement action. A case may have multiple violation values and multiple selections are allowed.
- Violation is the Result of Voluntary Self-Disclosure (Civil only)
- Search for civil enforcement cases resulting from a facility's voluntary self disclosure of violation(s), under the EPA Audit Policy or Small Business Compliance Policy.
- Enforcement Program (Civil only)
- Search for civil enforcement cases based on a designation that identifies a case as belonging to a specific enforcement program or initiative. A list of enforcement programs are available here (6 pp, 60 K, About PDF).
- Enforcement Type (Civil only)
- Search for civil cases based on the type of enforcement action. For administrative Enforcement Actions, the type describes the section of the statute authorizing the action. A case may have multiple Enforcement Types.
- Select the Enforcement Type Lookup link on the search form to choose an enforcement type. Select the checkbox next to an enforcement type and it will be added to the search criteria. This criterion allows multiple enforcement types to be added.
- National Priority Area (Civil only)
- Select the compliance or enforcement priority area the civil action is associated with. OECA and EPA regional offices negotiate priority activities each fiscal year as part of the planning and budget process. Setting national and regional priorities allows for more meaningful targeting of and efficient utilization of Agency resources.
Click the National Priority Area Lookup link on the search form to search for a priority area. Priority areas are organized by region and fiscal year. Select the checkbox next to a priority area and it will be added to the search criteria. This criteria allows multiple priority areas to be added.
- Case Summary Keyword(s)
- Search for keyword(s) contained within the Civil or Criminal Enforcement Case Report Case Summary. Separate multiple keywords with a semicolon (";"). The case summary provides an overview of the violation(s), environmental problem(s), and a description of the cause of action (basis of legal action). The summary may be extracted from the referral transmission memo or letter or as the first section of a revised standardized referral document.
- Find Keyword(s) That:
Use the dropdown list adjust the keyword search logic. You do not need to use wildcard characters (* or %) in the free text field to specify search logic. Note: You can only associate one type of search logic with selected search terms.
- Contains Each Term (DEFAULT) – Returns cases where all words in the search terms are present in the case summary. The order of the words in a search term does not affect the search results. For example, searching for “town bridge” returns results that contain both “town” and “bridge”, e.g., “Bridgeport Township” or “Middletown Bridge”
- Matches Exact Phrase – Returns cases where all keyword search terms, including exact spacing, are found within the case summary. The order of the words in a search term affects the search results. For example, searching for “town bridge” returns different results than searching for "bridge town" or "townbridge"
- Matches Exactly – Returns cases where the keyword search terms exactly match terms in the case summary. This option ignores ampersands.
- Judicial (Civil only)
- Select from case milestones specific to Judicial enforcement actions.
- Complaint Filed in Court: The date that the judicial complaint is filed with the Clerk of the U.S. District Court or the date the Proof of Claim in Bankruptcy proceedings is filed with the Bankruptcy court.
- Final Order Lodged: The date a proposed consent decree is given to the Clerk of the Court for lodging in the District Court. Upon lodging a consent decree, a notice is published in the Federal Register indicating nature of the proposed settlement and the acceptance period for public comments.
- Final Order Entered: The date that the consent decree or order is entered by the Clerk of the Court.
- Enforcement Action Closed: The date the actions requested in the final order have been completed by the recipient; or the termination date of the final order (if such a date is specified) has passed; or the enforcement action has been withdrawn or dismissed; or the enforcement action has been superceded by, or combined into, another related enforcement action addressing the same violations.
- Administrative (Civil only)
- Select from case milestones specific to Administrative enforcement actions.
- Complaint/Proposed Order Issued: The date that an administrative order is issued or the administrative complaint is filed.
- Final Order Issued: The date an administrative legal instrument that formally concludes an enforcement action and imposes on the recipient independently enforceable obligations is signed by the appropriate authority or filed with the Regional Hearing Clerk. Many administrative actions are issued unilaterally, and provide no opportunity for a hearing; therefore, the order is issued as proposed and final on the same date. Other actions may allow for a hearing at the request of the respondent, in which case the order issued and order final dates may differ.
- Enforcement Action Closed: The date that all conditions of the administrative order have been completed and/or satisfied.
- Fiscal Year
- Search for enforcement cases based on case milestone(s) restricted to a particular time period, the federal fiscal year(s). A federal fiscal year begins on October 1 and ends September 30 of the following year. Select a fiscal year to populate the From/To date range. If using the fill-in "From/To (MMDDYYYY)" date range option, you cannot also select a fiscal year date range.
- Date From
- Specify the start date of the date range to restrict your search to case milestone(s) within a particular time period.
- Date To
- Specify the end date of the date range to restrict your search to case milestone(s) within a particular time period.
- Federal Penalty Assessed or Agreed To
- Search for cases that have federal penalties within the selected range. For civil judicial enforcement actions, this amount is the federal penalty assessed against the defendant(s) as specified in the consent decree or court order. For administrative enforcement actions, it is the penalty assessed in the consent/final order. It does not include the amount shared with state or local entities, the amount of the penalty mitigated due to a SEP, or stipulated penalties which may result from noncompliance with the final order/consent decree. Interest payments associated with a penalty paid over time are not included in this amount. EPA settles the vast majority of its administrative and civil judicial enforcement actions, and these settlements include an agreed upon penalty amount. In most of these settlements, there is not a direct admission by the defendant of liability for violations.
- Cost Recovery Awarded
- Search for cases that have a cost recovery awarded within the selected range. Cost recovery awarded is the amount of cost recovery ordered or agreed to be repaid by the responsible party of parties and due the Superfund in accordance with either an administrative or judicial settlement. This criterion is disabled when searching on only state-lead enforcement cases (Case Lead = "State").
- Complying Action
- Select the type of action taken by the defendant/respondent to attain compliance with the law and restore the environment. Use the lookup to select complying actions categorized as involving: prevention of further releases, removal and restoration, reduction of ongoing releases, and/or work practices. This criterion is disabled when searching on only state-lead enforcement cases (Case Lead = "State").
- Value of Complying Actions
- Search for cases that have a value of complying actions within the selected range. This is the estimated or actual dollar value of costs incurred by the defendant/respondent to attain compliance with the law and restore the environment. It does not include penalties, cost recovery, or costs associated with SEPs.
- SEP Activity Category
- Select the category of the SEP (Supplemental Environmental Project) activity, an environmentally beneficial project, that the defendant/respondent agrees to undertake as stipulated in the order or decree resolving the enforcement action. A SEP is done voluntarily and is negotiated to reduce civil penalties.
- Total Value of SEP(s)
- Search for cases that have a SEP estimated or actual dollar value within the selected range. See SEP Activity Category above for more information on SEPs. Where a settlement involves more than one SEP, this selection represents the total value of those SEPs.