EPA promotes compliance by providing compliance incentives -- policies and programs that reduce or waive penalties under certain conditions for business, industry, and government facilities that voluntarily discover, promptly disclose, and expeditiously correct environmental problems.
This page contains information about:
- EPA's Audit Policy
- Tailored Incentives for New Owners
- eDisclosure--EPA's Electronic Audit Policy Self-Discolsure System
- Compliance Auditing Protocols
- Compliance Incentives Programs
- Market-Based Incentives
EPA's Audit Policy -- Provides incentives for the regulated community to come into compliance with federal environmental laws and regulations through self-assessment, disclosure, and correction of violations.
Tailored Incentives for New Owners -- On August 1, 2008, EPA published in the Federal Register (FR) its “Interim Approach to Applying the Audit Policy to New Owners (“Interim Approach),” which describes Audit Policy incentives tailored for new owners that want to make a “clean start” at their recently acquired facilities by addressing environmental noncompliance that began prior to acquisition.
The Interim Approach, which was effective upon publication of the FR, is designed to motivate new owners to audit their facilities and to encourage self-disclosures of violations that will, once corrected, yield significant pollutant reductions and benefits to the environment. EPA is concurrently seeking public comment on the Interim Approach for a period of 90 days.
eDisclosure -- EPA's Electronic Audit Policy Self-Disclosure System -- EPA is piloting a web-based system to allow companies to electronically self-disclose violations under EPA’s Audit Policy. eDisclosure makes it easier and faster to self-report environmental violations. It also speeds up EPA’s processing of self-disclosures by ensuring that each disclosure contains complete information. Facilities nationwide can use eDisclosure to disclose violations of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, and facilities located in EPA Region 6 states -- Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas -- can also use eDisclosure to disclose violations of other environmental laws. Once EPA has gained experience with electronic self-disclosures, EPA will refine the system, as necessary, and decide whether to expand, on a nationwide basis, the eDisclosure system to allow regulated entities to electronically self-disclose violations of other federally enforceable environmental requirements for possible incentives under the Audit Policy. For more on Electronic Self-Disclosure.
Compliance Auditing Protocols -- Tools for the regulated community and others to develop programs for facilities to evaluate compliance with federal environmental laws.
Compliance Incentives Programs -- In connection with the Audit Policy, EPA has established programs to promote environmental compliance and correction of violations by offering incentives to the regulated community in exchange for agreements to self-assess, disclose, correct and prevent future violations. Incentives may include:
- Reduced penalties for violations
- Extended time to correct violations
- Other considerations
Market-Based Incentives -- Information about EPA's collaboration with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to encourage disclosure of environmental information in accordance with the mandatory corporate disclosure requirements promulgated by the SEC.