Next Generation Environmental Compliance and Enforcement
Faced with declining budgets, widespread enforcement problems, and an increasingly complex array of environmental challenges, regulators across the world are searching for new strategies to facilitate compliance with environmental laws. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has spearheaded these efforts with the introduction of its “Next Generation Compliance” initiative, through which the agency hopes to leverage information and technology to streamline enforcement procedures and strengthen compliance with federal environmental laws. Cynthia Giles, the Assistant Administrator for the EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) has outlined five key elements of this initiative – rules with compliance built in, advanced pollution monitoring technologies, electronic reporting systems, increased transparency, and innovative enforcement strategies.
In December 2012, EPA representatives and other stakeholders participated in a two-day workshop to exchange ideas and develop strategies for implementing a “Next Generation” approach to environmental enforcement and compliance. This book is a compilation of selected papers from that workshop. These papers cover a broad array of topics, ranging from relatively abstract comparisons of different compliance approaches to focused case studies of regulatory programs. Some of the specific mechanisms identified by the authors to streamline enforcement and compliance include: advanced monitoring technologies; self-certification programs; company compliance management systems; environmental petitions; insurance mechanisms; and regulatory approaches that leverage a company’s internal economic interests to drive behavior.
LeRoy (Lee) C. Paddock is associate dean for environmental law studies at the George Washington University Law School. He is a member of the ABA Section on Environment, Energy and Resources Council. Prior to coming to GW Law, he was the director of Environmental Legal Studies at Pace University Law School from 2002 to 2007. Dean Paddock has served as a senior consultant for the National Academy of Public Administration on several projects since 1999. He also was a visiting scholar at the Environmental Law Institute between 1999 and 2002, focusing on Clean Air Act, state-federal relationship, and enforcement issues. From 1978 until 1999, Dean Paddock was an assistant attorney general with the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office, where he served as director of environmental policy for 13 years, as manager of the Office’s Agriculture and Natural Resources Division and a member of its executive committee. He has served on numerous national panels including the Aspen Institute’s Series on Environment in the 21st Century, and the American National Standard Institute’s ISO 14000 Environmental Management Systems Council. Dean Paddock graduated from the University of Iowa Law School with high honors and served as a law clerk to Judge Donald Lay of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.
Jessica A. Wentz is a Visiting Associate Professor and Environmental Law Fellow at the George Washington University Law School for 2012-2014. Her primary research interests include global climate governance, sustainable energy development, and environmental justice. Much of her scholarship focuses on the structure of environmental decisionmaking, and the extent to which participation, deliberation, and decentralization can either facilitate or hinder efforts to address “wicked” problems such as climate change and habitat degradation. Professor Wentz received her J.D. from Columbia Law School in 2012, where she studied environmental law, participated in clinical programs, and conducted independent research on issues related to climate change and energy policy. She was designated a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar for each of her three years at Columbia, and was awarded the Alfred A. Forsyth Prize for her dedication to the field of environmental law. Prior to attending law school, Professor Wentz received her B.A. in International Development from the University of California, Los Angeles. She wrote her undergraduate thesis on the potential benefits of community-driven development (CDD) in East Africa, and later worked with a small international NGO that specializes in CDD projects. After finishing her two-year appointment at GW Law School, Professor Wentz will be serving as Associate Director at Columbia University’s Center for Climate Change Law.
"The most effective way to achieve compliance with the law is to make it easier to comply than to violate. EPA is using new technologies and lessons learned about what drives compliance to reduce pollution and improve results."
—Cynthia Giles, Assistant Administrator for EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA)
"As the scope of environmental problems increase as we attempt to deal with newer challenges such as climate change and management of products throughout their life cycle while government environmental agency resources have remained flat or decreased, environmental agencies find that innovation is a must if they are to accomplish their mission. Enforcement and compliance programs, in particular, have had to identify new ways of doing business as the number of potential sources increased while human and financial resources have often declined. The Next Generation enforcement ideas discussed in this book is one of the ways agencies are seeking to cope with this quandary."
—LeRoy Paddock, Associate Dean for Environmental Law Studies, The George Washington University Law School
“This book offers valuable insights needed to find smarter ways to enforce environmental regulation. The kind of innovative thinking represented here could not come at a better time, as government increasingly faces the need to address environmental challenges under conditions of fiscal austerity.”
—Cary Coglianese, Edward B. Shils Professor of Law, University of Pennsylvania
“To its credit, EPA has acknowledged shortcomings in its efforts to promote compliance with the environmental laws. EPA’s important 2012 conference on Next Generation Environmental Compliance and Enforcement represents a creative initiative to grapple with these challenges. Next Generation Environmental Compliance and Enforcement, which includes chapters from several participants in the conference, will be of value to scholars, policy makers, and others interested in understanding the challenges associated with promoting compliance, and traditional, and emerging, opportunities to address these challenges.”
— Dave Markell, Association Dean for Environmental Programs and Steven M. Goldstein Professor, Florida State University College of Law