Graph: Cleanup Costs and Compliance Costs

This graph shows the costs associated with mitigating pollution and other environmental problems. Compliance costs (also known as “injunctive relief”) for civil enforcement actions are the estimated costs that regulated entities incur when they bring their operations into compliance with the law. Superfund cleanup costs are the costs that responsible parties have to pay to clean up Superfund (hazardous waste) sites. Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs) are agreements violators make to fund projects to improve environmental or human health in affected communities.

Use the cursor to hover over the graph and see presidential administrations and specific numbers. The dotted line is the average. The data are for fiscal years, which begin October 1 and end September 30. The calendar year it ends in is the year used to name the fiscal year. For example, fiscal year 2015 started on October 1, 2014 and ended on September 30, 2015. Inflation adjustment is in 2020 dollars. For more information terms, see the APE Glossary and Primer: How Enforcement Works at the EPA.


EPA Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, "National Enforcement Trends (NETs) Report" (August 2011); EPA Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, Annual Reports (various years). Inflation adjustment: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers.

Data download and links to sources.

Data dictionary.


Steven Geofrey and Leif Fredrickson, "Graph: Cleanup Costs and Compliance Costs," A People's EPA.