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.
"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