The Division of Enforcement promotes a fair, firm and consistent approach to gaining compliance through the resolution of enforcement cases.
The division was created on July 9, 2004, by Executive Order 2004-731. Significant revisions in the organizational structure of the former Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet included combining the staff and most activities previously included in the enforcement branches of the Division for Air Quality, the Division of Waste Management, and the Division of Water into a single division organized as the new Division of Enforcement.
The division currently provides a unified enforcement structure for imposing compliance on entities regulated by Kentucky's environmental statutes and regulations.
The Division of Enforcement is organized into two branches; the Civil Enforcement Branch (CEB) and the Compliance and Operations Branch (COB).
The CEB's primary duties include reviewing and pursuing violations referred by the other program divisions of the Department for Environmental Protection (DEP). The CEB pursues referred cases administratively utilizing an escalating system of enforcement procedures on regulated entities referred for environmental regulation. The process begins with informal administrative conferences held at the division's offices in Frankfort. If a case cannot be resolved using informal methods, then the case is escalated and referred to the cabinet's attorneys for formal action. Formal actions can include a formal hearing at the Office of Administrative Hearings or at Franklin Circuit Court. If violations are egregious, the division may refer the case for criminal prosecution.
The COB's primary duties include issuing Notices of Violation (NOVs) and providing administrative support for the division. Program divisions of the DEP refer cases to the Division of Enforcement for review and issuance of an NOV. Violations discovered by field inspectors are issued by the respective regional field offices and are not referred to the division for issuance.