NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Less Spent on Environmental Controls and Cleanup in 2002

January 31, 2003

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) forced polluters to spend $3.9 billion on new controls and cleanups last year -- 11 percent less than in 2001, but still the second-highest figure in the agency's history.

  • The number of inspections the agency conducted rose 1 percent in 2002 -- to 17,668.
  • Civil penalties paid by polluters dropped by nearly one-half in the 2002 fiscal year to $55.5 million -- while criminal penalties declined by a third to $25.7 million.
  • Monetary commitments the agency won from companies for Superfund cleanups fell by nearly two-thirds -- to $627 million from $1.7 billion the previous year.

Agency officials planned to release the numbers officially next week. But Democratic politicians jumped the gun and gave them to the Associated Press, along with charges that the Bush administration was exhibiting more leniency toward polluters than the Clinton administration had done while in office.

Source: Associated Press, "Polluters Spend $3.9 Billion on New Controls and Cleanups," New York Times, January 31, 2003.


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