The Illinois EPA's enforcement program seeks to obtain prompt compliance with the Illinois Environmental Protection Act and regulations promulgated thereunder, pose a deterrent to actions that delay or prevent prompt compliance, provide an incentive for timely and responsible compliance behavior, and ensure that persons who comply with environmental requirements are not placed at a competitive disadvantage.
To successfully implement its programs, the Illinois EPA uses compliance assistance and education, compliance inspections and reviews, and finally enforcement. Each is needed, and each complements the others. We all recognize that most regulated entities comply voluntarily. Others may not comply, because of a lack of information, or through negligence, or actual intent to avoid the requirements and costs that may go with them. Deterrence can only be had if the enforcement option is always available, and is pursued timely and consistently. If not timely, deterrence will be diminished by the distance in time between the violation and the pain of the penalty. If not consistently applied, fairness is lacking and competitive disadvantages may result.