EPA's investigation division nearly halved in recent years

The Environmental Protection Agency has half as many workers in its criminal investigation division than it did 10 years ago, a decline that exceeds the overall workforce declines at the agency over the last several years, Government Executive reports.

According to the report, documents obtained by the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility show that agency’s Criminal Investigation Division has 147 investigators, less than half the number it employed in 2003 and well below the 200-agent floor established by Congress in 1990.

The division opened 170 new cases in fiscal 2016, down 47 percent from fiscal 2012, and convictions have dropped at a similar rate, the article notes.

Reader comments

Tue, Nov 14, 2017 SamG

The chemical fertilizer plant which blew up in Waco, TX was not inspected by the EPA or the State of Texas for over 10 years when it exploded. It caused BILLIONS of dollars of damages in that town, and the company owners filed Bankruptcy and walked away without paying one cent of restitution.

Fri, Sep 1, 2017

Ask how many $$$$ were contributed by polluters into the coffers of elected officials.

Wed, Aug 30, 2017

When enforcement actions/personnel are cut this will bring back the days when the major polluters got away with poisoning the air water and land. This is why we have major chemical dumps that site idle from clean up efforts and enforcement actions which would make the companies responsible for paying fines and funds for clean up. These political minions surely have their pockets lined with monies from the industry that creates chemical dumps. and they goon smiling saying what great things they have done to help the environment.

Mon, Aug 28, 2017

Thank the democrats and republicans for the elimination of the enforcement arm of EPA. The reason is they don't care one bit about clean air, water and the environment in general. They have no clue that a healthy environment is productive and lessens the burden of illnesses in both children and adults.

Fri, Aug 25, 2017

Even 200 is small for the scale of the job needed. No matter what they say, corporations need to follow the bottom line. EPA provides potentially polluting industries with a level playing field so none of them are at a disadvantage for acting responsibly. This is a clear case where our society needs government -- economic pressure makes self regulation virtually impossible. When a separate third party (government) sets limits, that alleviates the economic pressure.

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Edward A. Zurndorfer Certified Financial Planner
Mike Causey Columnist
Tom Fox VP for Leadership and Innovation, Partnership for Public Service
Mathew B. Tully Legal Analyst

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