Without the power to enforce regulations, the Environmental Protection Agency would be completely toothless. There would be no real reason for businesses and individuals to follow the rules laid out by the agency. But the reality is that the EPA has a great deal of power. Due to its ability to enforce compliance, the EPA is able to be a force for positive change across America.
How the EPA tracks compliance
There are several ways that the EPA tracks whether or not an institution is being compliant with regulations. Sometimes, they audit institutions randomly. One of the most common is an inspection. Usually, an inspection is designed to track one issue. For example, a business could be evaluated to see if it’s compliant with the Clean Water Act. An inspection can include interviews with employees, sample taking, photographs and more.
Other strategies to determine compliance include Clean Air Act Evaluations. These include a review of records and an evaluation of air pollution controls. Information requests from the EPA can’t just be ignored. The EPA can access records from a non-compliant institution and/or in the wake of an investigation. Civil investigations are very unusual and very serious. They also take much longer. For example, an inspection may last a day or two. A civil investigation may require several weeks.
If you or your business is being investigated by the EPA, it’s a good idea to consult an attorney who understands business law. The Environmental Protection Agency has the power to require big changes from companies. That can get expensive. Having an attorney on your side may mean you’re able to negotiate a more favorable timeline for changes.