Crafting Superior Environmental Enforcement Solutions
The “environmental police” are very much on the beat, requiring cleanup and meting out punishments for transgressions of U.S. law. In fiscal year 1999, the U.S. EPA concluded enforcement cases requiring a record $3.6 billion for environmental cleanup, pollution control equipment, pollution prevention, and improved monitoring. And, as in past years, guards escorted many corporate employees, and managers alike, to prison. But federal and state governments are aware that in certain cases regulatory violations can be traced to deficient management systems, and some within the enforcement community have begun to shift the focus from pure punishment and deterrence to the use of strategic environmental management to address the causes of historic noncompliance.
Crafting Superior Environmental Enforcement Solutions, a new book published by the Environmental Law Institute, examines creative ways in which prosecutors, regulators, and industry have used environmental auditing, pollution prevention techniques, and environmental management systems to resolve enforcement actions. The book explains why some in the enforcement community have accepted a reduction of financial sanctions in exchange for commitments to adopt tools, techniques, and strategies that will provide even greater levels of environmental protection and compliance assurance, and examines how these elements promise to combine for longer lasting benefits for the environment, and for the communities and firms involved.
The book also provides detailed analyses of (1) state audit privilege and immunity statutes and policies, (2) environmental audit provisions in federal consent decrees and in EPA administrative orders, (3) pollution prevention SEPs approved in 1999, and (4) other instances of EMS commitments at the federal and state level.