The EPA Office of Inspector General has released a report which found that "... state enforcement programs frequently do not meet national goals and states do not always take necessary enforcement actions. The scope of the review included selected programs under three statutes: the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.
The review concluded that state enforcement programs are underperforming. The report states that EPA data indicate that noncompliance is high and the level of enforcement is low. EPA does not consistently hold states accountable for meeting enforcement standards, has not set clear and consistent national benchmarks, and does not act effectively to curtail weak and inconsistent enforcement by states.
The report recommends that EPA "... establish clear national lines of authority for enforcement that include centralized authority over resources; cancel outdated guidance and policies, and consolidate and clarify remaining enforcement policies; establish clear benchmarks for state performance; and establish a clear policy describing when and how EPA will intervene in states, and procedures to move resources to intervene decisively, when appropriate, under its escalation policy ... [as well as] develop a state performance scorecard ..."