Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance
Abbreviation OECA

EPA CID Special Agent badge
Agency overview
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Federal agency USA
General nature
Operational structure
Parent agency U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

The Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) is the law enforcement arm of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It is made up of attorneys, special agents, scientists and other employees.


The OECA consists of eight component offices.[1]

Office of Administration and Policy

The Office of Administration and Policy (OAP) recommends national policy on issues pertaining to enforcement and compliance. OAP provides a range of administrative support services which includes: human resources, labor relations, budget, finances, contracts, grants, records management and management of the compliance and enforcement information on the Agency’s website.

  • Administrative Management Division
  • Budget and Financial Management Division
  • Information Technology Division
  • Policy and Legislative Coordination Division

Office of Civil Enforcement

The Office of Civil Enforcement (OCE) develops and prosecutes administrative civil and judicial cases and provides legal support for cases and investigations initiated in EPA regional offices. OCE directly implements and enforces federal programs (i.e., those programs where there are no EPA-authorized state programs). OCE also has responsibility for planning and setting priorities for enforcement activities, developing national enforcement policy and guidance, participating in Agency rule-making to ensure that regulations contain clear and enforceable provisions, and implementing effective communication to alert regulated entities to potential compliance problems.

Federal judicial actions (formal lawsuits) are filed by the U.S. Department of Justice on behalf of EPA.[2]

Office of Criminal Enforcement, Forensics and Training

The Office of Criminal Enforcement, Forensics and Training investigates violations of environmental laws and provides a range of technical and forensic services for civil and criminal investigative support and counsel on legal and policy matters.

  • Criminal Investigation Division (CID)
  • Field Operations Program
  • National Enforcement Investigations Center
  • Legal Counsel Division

CID Mission

The primary mission of the Criminal Investigation Division is the enforcement of U.S. environmental laws, as well as any other federal law in accordance with the guidelines established by the Attorney General of the United States.[3] These environmental laws include those specifically related to air, water and land resources.[4]

CID Training

CID Special Agents receive twelve weeks of basic federal law enforcement and Criminal Investigator training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center located in Glynco, Georgia. In addition to the basic law enforcement training, CID Special Agents also receive nine weeks of training in conducting investigations related to U.S. environmental laws. There is also periodic in-service training, as well as advanced training in various investigative techniques.[4]

Office of Compliance

The Office of Compliance (OC) identifies, prevents, and reduces noncompliance and environmental risks by establishing enforcement initiatives and ensuring effective monitoring and assessment of compliance. OC provides compliance assistance and compliance data and ensures the effectiveness of compliance and enforcement personnel through training.

  • Enforcement Targeting and Data Division
  • Monitoring, Assistance, and Media Programs Division
  • National Enforcement Training Institute
  • Planning, Measuring, and Oversight Division
  • Resource Management Staff

Office of Environmental Justice

The Office of Environmental Justice works to protect human health and the environment in communities with environmental pollution by integrating environmental justice into EPA programs, policies and activities.

Office of Federal Activities

The Office of Federal Activities (OFA) coordinates EPA's review of all federal Environmental Impact Statements prepared by other agencies under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), as well as EPA's compliance with NEPA. OFA also works with federal and state agencies, foreign governments and international organizations in order to ensure compliance with United States environmental laws, and to promote a level playing field in trade internationally.

  • International Compliance Assurance Division
  • NEPA Compliance Division

Federal Facilities Enforcement Office

The Federal Facilities Enforcement Office (FFEO) is responsible for ensuring that federal facilities (e.g. military bases, national parks, government office buildings) take all necessary actions to prevent, control and abate environmental pollution. FFEO facilitates compliance through inspections and enforcement under all environmental statutes and cleanup at federal facilities.[5]

  • Site Remediation and Enforcement Staff
  • Planning, Prevention, and Compliance Staff

Office of Site Remediation Enforcement

The Office of Site Remediation Enforcement manages the enforcement of EPA's national hazardous waste cleanup programs. The cleanup enforcement program protects human health and the environment by getting those responsible for a hazardous waste site to either clean up or reimburse EPA for its cleanup. EPA uses a number of cleanup authorities independently and in combination to address specific cleanup situations, including the Superfund law, RCRA and the Oil Pollution Act.

  • Policy and Program Evaluation Division
  • Regional Support Division
  • Program Operation Staff

Most Wanted EPA Fugitives

Current EPA Fugitives:[6]

  • Yousef Abuteir
  • Omran Alghazouli
  • Butch R. Bustamonte
  • Raul Chavez-Beltran
  • Alessandro Giordano
  • Carlos Giordano
  • John Karayannides
  • Peter Kuhn
  • Prem Kumar
  • Aage Lokkebraten
  • Frerik Pluimers
  • Michael Evangelos Psomadakis
  • Peter Solemdal
  • Kurt Sorboe
  • Zdzislaw (Jimmy) Szypulski


  1. "About the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA)". Washington, D.C.: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 2016-08-08.
  2. "Enforcement Basic Information". EPA. 2016-08-04.
  3. United States. "Crimes and Criminal Procedure: Powers of Environmental Protection Agency." 18 U.S.C. § 3063
  4. 1 2 "Criminal Enforcement: Special Agents". EPA. 2016-07-05.
  5. "Enforcement at Federal Facilities". EPA. 2016-02-01.
  6. "EPA Fugitives". Enforcement. EPA. 2016-04-19.
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