Jump to Navigation
Jump to Content

EPA's New Enforcement Policy: At Last, a Reliable Roadmap to Civil Penalty Mitigation for Self-Disclosed Violations

May 1996

Citation: ELR 10227

Author: James T. Banks

Editors' Summary: On December 22, 1995, EPA issued its Final Policy Statement on Incentives for Self-Policing, which sets forth the conditions under which EPA will reduce civil penalties assessed against regulated entities when they manage their own compliance responsibilities and disclose their own violations of environmental laws. This Article analyzes the Policy and evaluates its long-term prospects. The Article begins by describing the history behind the Policy. It discusses EPA's Interim Policy on Voluntary Environmental Self-Policing and Self-Disclosure, the defects that stakeholders identified in that Policy, and the ways in which EPA addressed those concerns in the Final Policy. The Article then analyzes the Final Policy itself. It examines the conditions that regulated entities must meet for civil-penalty mitigation and explores the limits of the guidance the Policy gives such entities. Finally, the Article discusses the prospects for the Policy's long-term success and suggests ways to ensure that success.

The author is a partner with the firm of Hogan & Hartson in Washington, D.C. He is a former General Counsel of Chemical Waste Management, Inc., and a former Senior Attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council.

You must be a News & Analysis subscriber to download the full article.

You are not logged in. To access this content: