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National Enforcement Initiatives for Fiscal Years 2014-2016: Ensuring Energy Extraction Activities Comply with Environmental Laws

Natural gas pump
Natural gas pump

Fast Fact

The Department of Energy projects shale gas will be more than 20% of the total U.S. gas supply by 2020.


As the nation continues to develop new forms and sources of energy, there is an urgent need to assure that we develop energy sources in an environmentally protective manner. EPA recognizes the importance of natural gas as a cleaner burning “bridge fuel” in the search for new forms and sources of energy. However, some techniques for natural gas extraction pose a significant risk to public health and the environment. 


EPA has worked closely with states to assure that domestic onshore natural gas extraction and production is done in a way that protects the environment and complies with all applicable laws. EPA has settled a number of high-impact cases under this initiative resulting in significant air emissions reductions, and will continue to identify the best ways to address pollution through greater use of advanced pollution monitoring and reporting techniques. EPA will also utilize innovative Next Generation technologies and techniques as appropriate to address non-compliance. 


Progress on Ensuring Energy Extraction Activities Are Complying With Environmental Law

The following maps and charts show EPA's progress in addressing incidences of noncompliance from natural gas extraction and production activities.

Map of basins and shale plays and EPA energy extraction inspections/evaluations and enforcement actions