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National Conference of State Legislatures Study Finds That State Environmental Audit Laws Have No Impact on Company Self-Auditing and Disclosure of Violations

May 1999

Citation: ELR 10265

Author: Nancy K. Stoner and Wendy J. Miller

Editors' Summary: State audit privilege and immunity laws and audit policies have been championed as a way to encourage facilities to audit, or increase the auditing of, their compliance with environmental laws. A recent study by the National Conference of State Legislatures examined the success of these laws and policies by surveying how they have affected facilities' auditing practices. In this Dialogue, the Director of EPA's Office of Planning and Policy Analysis and an attorney advisor in that Office analyze this study and its implications. The Dialogue begins with an overview of state audit privilege and immunity laws and audit policies. It then describes the study's design and results and discusses some examples of EPA's own experience in encouraging environmental auditing. The Dialogue concludes by evaluating the study in light of EPA's position on these laws.

Ms. Stoner is the Director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Office of Planning and Policy Analysis within the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. Ms. Stoner served as an attorney in the Policy, Legislation, and Special Litigation Section of the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice from 1987 until the fall of 1996, when she joined EPA. Ms. Stoner attended the University of Virginia, where she obtained a B.A. in 1982, and Yale Law School, where she obtained a J.D. in 1986. Ms. Miller is an attorney advisor in EPA's Office of Planning and Policy Analysis within the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. She received a J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1983 and an LL.M. in environmental law from the George Washington University in 1997. She has worked in various EPA offices since 1989. The views expressed in this Dialogue are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of EPA.

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