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Whither Audit Policies at EPA and the States?

April 16, 2013

An ELI Associates Seminar

In 1995, EPA began encouraging self-disclosure of regulatory violations by creating a self-disclosure process, formally entitled "Incentives for Self-Policing: Discovery, Disclosure, Correction and Prevention of Violations" and informally known as the Audit Policy. In return for voluntarily discovering, promptly disclosing, expeditiously correcting, and preventing recurrence of future environmental violations, regulated entities could receive penalty reductions, recommendations for no criminal prosecution, and assurances that EPA would not routinely request copies of audit reports that could trigger enforcement investigations.

Similar policies exist in many states, with varying levels of protection and types of incentives. But in April 2012, in its Office of Environmental Compliance Assurance National Program Manager Guidance, the EPA announced that it was reducing its Audit Policy work to a "minimal national presence." This move has left many open questions, including: What does this mean for disclosures to EPA under the policy? What course should a regulated entity take in a state that provides incentives for self-disclosure?

An expert panel discussed the current state of audit policies at the Federal and state levels and best practices moving forward.

Panelists:

J. Mark Morford, Partner, Stoel Rives LLP (moderator)
Jane E. Montgomery, Partner, Schiff Hardin LLP
Eric Schaeffer, Executive Director, Environmental Integrity Project
Andrew Stewart, Acting Division Director, Special Litigation and Projects Division, US EPA
Jean-Cyril "JC" Walker, Partner, Keller and Heckman LLP

Files Available to ELI Associates:
  • MP3 recording of the seminar

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