Environmental Compliance and Internal Audits

Coming Clean Under Environmental Regulations and Mitigating EPA and State Penalties

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Course Materials


As part of its current enforcement strategy, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and many state agencies placed an emphasis on environmental compliance auditing.

The EPA and many states offer companies strong incentives to encourage compliance, including reduced or eliminated penalties and prosecutions. Audits also allow companies to be proactive in identifying and addressing environmental problems before civil litigation or enforcement actions arise.

Listen as our panel of environmental law specialists examines the governments' environmental enforcement policies, internal environmental auditing programs, and offer suggestions on how to respond to enforcement actions.



  1. Recent developments in enforcement policies
    1. EPA’s self-disclosure policy
    2. EPA incentives under the Audit Policy
    3. State self-disclosure policies and legislation
  2. Environmental auditing programs
    1. Understanding federal and state policies relating to environmental audits before conducting an audit
    2. Designing an audit program
    3. Implementation of an audit program
    4. Identifying privileges and protections in environmental audits
    5. Maintaining privileges and protections in environmental audits
    6. Determining whether to participate in compliance incentive program and meeting conditions to take advantage of incentives
  3. Strategies for responding to enforcement actions
    1. Civil v. criminal actions
    2. Administrative strategies and settlements
    3. Negotiating penalties
    4. Developing supplemental environmental projects


The panel reviewed these and other key questions: 

  • What are the recent developments in federal and state environmental enforcement policies?
  • How can companies and counsel use environmental audits to improve compliance and soften the impact of a government enforcement action?
  • What are the best practices for counsel to advise clients or their companies that are considering utilizing environmental compliance audits?
  • What are the expected costs and benefits of internal environmental audits from a legal standpoint?


Thomas J. P. McHenry
Thomas J. P. McHenry
Gibson Dunn & Crutcher

He practices general environmental law with an emphasis on air quality, hazardous waste, environmental diligence, land...  |  Read More

Blake A. Biles
Blake A. Biles
Arnold & Porter

He has over 30 years experience as an environmental attorney and provides services concerning counseling, compliance...  |  Read More

Quigley, David
David H. Quigley

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

Mr. Quigley advises lenders, sellers and buyers on evaluating the environmental liabilities associated with commercial,...  |  Read More