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Whither Audit Policies at EPA and the States?
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?
Join us for an expert panel discussing the current state of audit policies at the Federal and state levels and best practices moving forward.
- J. Mark Morford, Partner, Stoel Rives LLP (moderator)
- Andrew Stewart, Acting Division Director, Special Litigation and Projects Division, US EPA
- Jane E. Montgomery, Partner, Schiff Harden LLP
- Eric Schaeffer, Executive Director, Environmental Integrity Project
- Jean-Cyril "JC" Walker, Partner, Keller and Heckman LLP