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Compliance Assistance Program at the US Environmental Protection Agency

Compliance Assistance Program at the US Environmental Protection Agency

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Compliance Assistance Program at the US Environmental Protection Agency

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  1. Compliance Assistance Program at the US Environmental Protection Agency Presentation at The Regulatory Craft in Nova Scotia 2007 November 20, 2007 Michael M. Stahl Director, Office of Compliance U.S. EPA

  2. Presentation Outline • Enforcement and compliance program overview • Role and benefits of compliance assistance • Examples of EPA’s compliance assistance tools • Measuring results of assistance • Integrating assistance with other tools • Lessons learned

  3. EPA Enforcement and Compliance Program • Compliance Assistance is one “tool” used to address environmental problems. The other tools are: • Compliance monitoring (e.g., inspections) • Compliance Incentives • Enforcement • Often used together as part of integrated strategies or approaches to solving problems

  4. Compliance Assistance - Definition • Activities, tools or technical assistance which provide clear and consistent information for: • The regulated community – to help them understand, meet obligations under environmental regulations • Compliance assistance providers - state and local governments, trade associations, nonprofits - to aid the regulated community in complying with environmental regulations • Includes web sites, plain-language guides, fact sheets, onsite visits, training etc.

  5. Compliance Assistance Providers • EPA partners with other providers of assistance, including: • State and Tribal governments • Local governments • Trade associations • Nonprofit organizations • Academia • EPA works with these organizations to: • Develop and deliver assistance resources • Maintain a repository of information on assistance resources • Consistently measure results of assistance

  6. Benefits of Compliance Assistance • Prevents violations from occurring • Simplifies compliance requirements for regulated facilities and companies • Aimed at small and medium-sized businesses • Reaches large audiences (as compared with case-by-case approach of enforcement)

  7. CA Activities – Entities Reached

  8. CA Tools - Examples • Industry Sector Notebooks - Profiles on 36 specific industries and governments that describe processes and applicable regulations. • http://epa.gov/compliance/sectornotebooks.html • Environmental Audit Protocols - Assists the regulated community in developing programs at individual facilities to evaluate their compliance with environmental requirements under federal law. - provide detailed regulatory checklists that you can be customized to meet specific needs. - http://www.epa.gov/compliance/incentives/auditing/protocol.html • Managing Your Environmental Responsibilities: A Guide for the Construction Industry - Information on environmental requirements for the construction and development industries with a checklist to help assign environmental responsibilities. http://ww.epa.gov/compliance/resources/publications/assistance/sectors/constructmyer/index.html

  9. Compliance Assistance Centers • Fifteen web-based, sector-specific compliance assistance centers • First-stop information source for industry sector • Identifies the federal environmental regulations that apply to them • Provides guidance on how to comply with regulations • Identifies pollution prevention approaches that can save them money • Since 1998, the Centers have had over 8 million user sessions through the end of FY2006. www.assistancecenters.net

  10. Compliance Assistance Centerswww.assistancecenters.net Manufacturing Metal Finishing Agriculture Printed Wiring Board Construction Chemical Manufacturing Government Local Government Federal Facilities Tribal Services • Automotive Service and Repair • Automotive Recycling • Health Care • Paints and Coatings • Printing • Transportation • Border Center • Education Sector (pending)

  11. Virtual Tours

  12. On-Line Tools

  13. Border CA Center

  14. National Compliance Assistance Clearinghouse • Web-based tool for assistance providers to share information on their projects • Find assistance information quickly • Share latest assistance tools • Learn what others are working on • Share success stories with other providers • Tell EPA what assistance tools are needed • Share information to boost providers’ web content www.epa.gov/clearinghouse

  15. Outcomes of FY2006 Direct Compliance Assistance Activities • In FY2006, EPA provided direct CA (workshops, trainings, onsite visits, response to public inquires, etc.) to over 74,000 regulated entities. • Outcome results from direct assistance continue to be high in FY06: • 94% increased understanding • 74% improved environmental management practices • 28% reduced or eliminated pollution

  16. CA Centers Outcomes

  17. Integrating Assistance with Other Tools • Maximize outcomes by using a combination of: • Compliance assistance • Monitoring • Incentives • Enforcement • Other Tools • Sequence of these activities is critical to success

  18. Inspectors Often Provide CA During Compliance Inspections • EPA policy allows inspectors to provide compliance assistance during inspections. • Inspections offer a “teachable moment” for assistance. • In FY2006, 58% of the facilities EPA inspected received compliance assistance (over 11,00 facilities). • www.epa.gov/oeca/inspector/

  19. Integrating Assistance with Other Tools: Healthcare Environmental Problems Identified: • Hazardous Waste Identification, Labeling and Manifest Violations. • HW Container Management and Storage • CFC and UST Leak Detection. • Oil Spill Contingency Plans • Personnel Training Requirements.

  20. Integrating Assistance with Other Tools: Healthcare Goals of Regional Initiative: • Improve environmental compliance and safety at healthcare facilities. • Ensure compliance of entire sector; not just those reached through inspections. • Ensure continued compliance by implementing permanent changes.

  21. Hospital Wastes

  22. Integrating Assistance with Other Tools: Healthcare Region combined the following strategies to address compliance issues in this sector: • Provide environmental assistance to healthcare facilities • Encourage healthcare facilities to perform voluntary compliance audits and enter into audit agreements • Conduct inspections and undertake enforcement • Identify pollution prevention opportunities and encourage use of Environmental Management Systems

  23. Integrating Assistance with Other Tools: Healthcare Compliance Assistance Results • Held 11 “Environmental Compliance 101” Workshops and a series of hazardous waste identification and management seminars • Develop 118 CA Tools (e.g., CD-ROMS, websites, checklists, etc.) • Entities reached through workshops: 5,000 • Entities Reached via other CA: 25,290

  24. Integrating Assistance with Other Tools: Healthcare Results from Other Tools: • 58 Inspections resulting in 39 enforcement actions • Over $1.5 Million in Assessed Penalties • 42 Audit Agreements with 189 Voluntary Disclosures covering 688 facilities • Almost 4,000 violations corrected

  25. Changes in Understanding – Very High Responses

  26. Top Five Pollutant Reductions Battery Recycling 15 tons Medical Waste Segregation 475 tons Electronics equipment recycling 75 tons Sharps containers 10,500 units Integrated pest management 80% reduction in pesticides

  27. Integrating Assistance with Other Tools • Similar projects in other sectors: • Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations • Construction • Auto Salvage Yards • Marinas • Colleges/Universities

  28. Guide for Addressing Environmental Problems: Using an Integrated Strategic Approach • Explains a 9-element strategic approach to address environmental problems • Promotes consistency in planning, implementing and measuring strategic approaches • Provides a means for documenting the decision-making process • www.epa.gov/compliance/resources/ policies/assistance/strategicguide.pdf

  29. Lessons Learned • Consult stakeholders during development of assistance tools • Assistance can have a broader “reach” than other tools • Consider needs of small businesses • Inspections offer “teachable moment” for assistance

  30. Lessons Learned • Strong enforcement program helps assistance • Use assistance with other tools to maximize results • Measure outcomes of assistance

  31. EPA Compliance Assistance Resources www.epa.gov/compliance/assistance www.epa.gov/clearinghouse www.assistancecenters.net