The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency enforces an extensive array of federal environmental laws and regulations, and it delegates enforcement authority to state environmental officials as well. These laws may affect not only major manufacturing operations (like chemicals and automobiles), but also small businesses and operations such as hospitals, universities, farms, and municipal governments. Failure to comply may subject firms and their officers and employees to federal and state administrative proceedings, civil lawsuits, and criminal prosecutions.
To help firms and individuals comply with the law and deal effectively with the EPA, this new book provides, in convenient question and- answer format, a brief overview of the main federal environmental laws, and it then focuses in detail on the practical aspects of compliance and enforcement.
- Is state enforcement less stringent than federal enforcement? What does a typical permit provide? What are the enforcement consequences of failing to comply with monitoring and reporting requirements? How does EPA set its enforcement priorities? What triggers an EPA inspection? What is the first thing that should be done when an inspector arrives?
- What is an environmental crime? Can a corporate officer be prosecuted for the conduct of an employee? What is an administrative compliance order? What is a notice of violation? What is the role of the Department of Justice in environmental enforcement?
- What does “imminent and substantial endangerment” mean? What is “economic benefit” and why does EPA seek to recover it as part of the penalty calculation? Is compliance with the language of the permit a defense? How does bankruptcy affect enforcement actions by EPA? What are the benefits of implementing an environmental management system? How does one make a voluntary disclosure under EPA’s audit policy? Can a citizen suit be brought if EPA or a state is pursuing an enforcement action for the same conduct?
These questions and hundreds of others are answered clearly and succinctly by Adam Sowatzka and Richard E. Glaze, Jr., based on the expertise they have gained both as lawyers for the government and as private practitioners advising clients regarding environmental compliance.
As pointed out in the Foreword by Fred L. Burnside (Former Director, U.S. EPA Office of Criminal Enforcement, Forensics and Training), EPA’s enforcement programs have evolved, and today “the government utilizes a wide range of resources to investigate enforcement matters, including inspectors, criminal investigators, regulatory experts, sampling technicians, chemists, agency enforcement attorneys, and civil and criminal prosecutors. Companies and corporate officials, often finding themselves at the mercy of government personnel and an unpredictable timetable, need their own resources to respond effectively.” The EPA Compliance and Enforcement Answer Book 2013
provides an essential resource to help level the playing field.