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Cooperation With Government Agencies Under Environmental Audit Privilege/Immunity Laws, Rules, and Policies

December 2003

Citation: ELR 10996

Author: Bertram C. Frey & Kathryn A. McCollough

This Article examines what the term "cooperation" means in major federal policies, state audit privilege/immunity laws, and state self-disclosure policies and rules in existence as of September 2003. In particular, this Article discusses the role cooperation with a government agency plays when a regulated entity self-discloses violations of environmental laws to that agency.1 As these policies, rules, and statutes have evolved over recent years, this Article also sheds some light on growing trends in how government agencies seek to provide incentives for entities to achieve voluntary compliance.

This Article should prove useful to legal practitioners because it provides, in table form, a synopsis of what constitutes cooperation with government agencies under environmental self-disclosure policies and audit privilege/immunity laws. The Article is divided into four sections: Federal Policies (Table I); State Audit Privilege/Immunity Laws (Table II); State Audit Rules (Table III); and State Self-Disclosure Policies (Table IV). Each of the four tables summarizes how cooperation is treated within each category, thus allowing for easy comparison and elucidation of trends.

Bertram C. Frey is acting regional counsel for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region V. Kathryn McCollough is a law student at Northwestern University School of Law and at the time of this writing served as a legal extern with EPA Region V. The views expressed in this Article are the views of the authors and are not necessarily those of EPA.

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