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Navigating Voluntary Disclosures Under New EPA/OIG Guidance to Mitigate Violations and Penalties

Distinguishing EPCRA From Non-EPCRA Violations

Recording of a 90-minute CLE video 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 Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Recorded event now available

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This CLE webinar will advise environmental counsel on current EPA policies regarding voluntary self-disclosures. The panel will discuss how the EPA will evaluate EPCRA violations versus non-EPCRA violations and screen non-EPCRA violation disclosures for significant concerns. The panel will address how to mitigate risks for companies seeking to utilize the audit policy and submit non-EPCRA violation voluntary self-disclosure.


The EPA Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently issued a report detailing the results of an evaluation of the EPA's process for screening self-reported environmental violations made through its eDisclosure system. The OIG's office concluded that the EPA lacks the necessary internal controls to ensure breaches are disclosed and that disclosures are appropriately screened.

The EPA's Audit Policy allows companies that conduct voluntary audits to disclose violations and take corrective action to reduce penalties and mitigate incentives. In 2015 the audit policy was updated to require electronic reporting using the newly established eDisclosure portal. The eDisclosure portal receives and processes submissions under the audit policy into two categories:

  • Category 1: EPCRA violations that meet all nine of the audit policy's conditions
  • Category 2: Non-EPCRA violations and violations of EPCRA that do not meet the criteria for Category 1

The findings of the OIG's report are primarily focused on Category 2. The EPA previously stated that it would screen Category 2 disclosures for significant concerns. Companies that use the audit policy and submit a Category 2 voluntary self-disclosure are likely subject to increased scrutiny on the qualifications under the current policies and the resulting follow-up inspections by the EPA.

Listen as our expert panel discusses how the OIC guidance will likely affect the ongoing audit policy and enforcement by the EPA of non-EPCRA violations and how to mitigate risks while utilizing the audit policy.



  1. EPA OIG Report
    1. History
      1. 2015 eDisclosure portal
    2. Audit policy
      1. Categories of violations
      2. Changes in enforcement
    3. OIG recommendations
  2. Best practices for utilizing the audit policy


The panel will discuss this and other key topics:

  • Why did the OIG conduct a review of the EPA's Audit Policy?
  • What are the significant recommendations from the OIG's report?
  • What are the likely resulting effects of voluntarily disclosing a Category 2 violation?
  • How best can companies making a Category 2 violation disclosure mitigate risks?


Emerson, Andrew
Andrew H. Emerson

Holland & Knight

Mr. Emerson's practice focuses on helping clients develop and implement best-in-class advocacy and compliance...  |  Read More

Goodwin, Pamela
Pamela S. Goodwin

Saul Ewing

Ms. Goodwin represents clients in the energy, oil and gas, solid waste, agriculture, and many other industries in...  |  Read More

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