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The Northeast Environmental Enforcement Project – NEEP, was the first of the original four regional environmental enforcement organizations to be created. Its predecessor, the Northeast Hazardous Waste Coordination Committee, was formed in 1980 as a result of a proposal presented by the Attorney General of New Jersey to the attorneys general of eleven northeastern states. NEEP served as the model for the establishment of the Midwest Environmental Enforcement Association in 1982; the Western States Project in 1986; and the Southern Environmental Enforcement Network in 1987. In October 2015, NEEP became a non-profit organization and is domiciled out of the state of Ohio. Fifteen government agencies representing Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Ohio, Vermont, Washington, D.C. and West Virginia are full members of NEEP. Environment Canada is an Associate member of NEEP.
NEEP has a proven, successful history of providing professional services to our members. We have developed a diverse set of training workshops for compliance inspectors, enforcement investigators, legal staff and supervisors. There are several topics that can be held as part of a classroom session or combined with hands-on field training. In 2021 NEEP began offering online webinars held on our Microsoft Teams meeting platform.
The landscape for environmental enforcement has changed dramatically in recent years. Thousands of regulated facilities (including small quantity hazardous waste generators, air toxic emission sources, and operators subject to community right-to-know requirements) have been added to the enforcement workload. The executive, legislative and judicial branches of government have placed more emphasis on enforcement of environmental laws, including an increasing emphasis on the use of criminal sanctions to deal with the most egregious environmental violations. The public wants to be assured that the environmental regulations are being enforced, while the business sector wants to be treated fairly and consistently without undue burdens while encouraging the prosecution of violators of the laws and regulations.
This has occurred at a time when government budgets at all levels are under more scrutiny than ever. It is crucial for state and local governments to utilize limited compliance and enforcement resources as efficiently as possible to meet growing demands on their programs. NEEP, one of four regional associations, was established as an important asset for environmental government entities to help build and maintain efficient and effective environmental compliance and enforcement programs by offering a diverse selection of training programs and to create a network of communication between the various government entities. Our training programs have kept pace with the changing landscape of environmental protection and we continually evaluate our programs to fit the needs of our members.