Small Business Compliance and Enforcement
The Small Business Compliance Policy (PDF) (5 pp, 256K) promotes environmental compliance among small businesses (those with 100 or fewer employees) by providing incentives to discover and correct environmental problems. EPA will eliminate or significantly reduce penalties for small businesses that voluntarily discover violations of environmental law and promptly disclose and correct them. This Policy implements section 223 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (PDF) (29 pp, 99K). (Additional Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act Information).
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A wide range of resources are available to help small businesses learn about environmental compliance and take advantage of the Small Business Compliance Policy. These resources include:
- EPA Small Business Resources Information Sheet (PDF), June 2011 (2 pp, 234K), training, checklists, compliance guides, mentoring programs and other activities.
- The Small Business Compliance Policy Questions and Answers (PDF) May 19, 2004, (3 pp, 115K) provides answers to key questions on how small businesses can use the Policy and provides EPA regional contacts for additional information.
- Businesses with more than 100 employees may be eligible for the Policy on Incentives for Self-Policing, known as the Audit Policy, which also provides potential penalty reductions for voluntary discovery disclosure and correction of environmental violations.
Businesses can find more information through these Web-based resources:
- EPA's Small Business Ombudsman's office serves as a conduit for small businesses to access EPA and facilitates communications between the small business community and the Agency. The Office reviews and resolves disputes with EPA and works with EPA personnel to increase their understanding of small businesses in the development and enforcement of environmental regulations.
- Compliance Assistance Centers address real world issues in plain language. Through Web sites, telephone assistance lines, fax-back systems and e-mail discussion groups, the Centers help businesses, local governments and federal facilities understand federal environmental requirements and save money through pollution prevention techniques.
- Small Business Environmental Home Page helps small businesses access and environmental compliance and pollution prevention information.