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Responding to EPA Information Request Letters: Mitigating Further Agency Scrutiny

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, May 23, 2023

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will guide environmental counsel on responding to EPA information request letters, understanding key strategic considerations and alternatives, and assessing and managing enforcement risk. The panel will offer perspectives on varying approaches under environmental laws.


Under most environmental laws, including CERCLA, the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Clean Air Act (CAA), and RCRA, the EPA has the authority to request information to evaluate a company's compliance with those statutes. The EPA can use formal information requests to gather information in its efforts to assess compliance. The request letter is often the first step in an EPA enforcement action.

A company's response to an EPA inquiry establishes the groundwork for how the matter will proceed and ultimately be resolved. The company and counsel should formulate an approach by which the EPA receives the information it seeks while managing the narrative to reduce the risk of enforcement exposure and protecting privileges and confidentiality.

Counsel and their clients must understand the common concerns and red flags for the EPA under various environmental programs and must develop proactive legal strategies for responding to information requests, investigations, and if necessary, defending against EPA claims in the enforcement context.

Listen as our authoritative panel of environmental counsel discusses the scope of the EPA's information gathering authority, examining provisions under CERCLA, CWA, CAA, and RCRA, as well as addressing common concerns and issues under environmental laws. The panel will offer practical guidance for responding to EPA information request letters.



  1. Scope of EPA authority
    1. CERCLA
    2. CWA
    3. CAA
    4. RCRA
  2. Common concerns and issues
  3. Strategic considerations for counsel before responding to an EPA request letter, including corresponding with EPA
  4. Managing scope of the request
  5. Do's and don'ts of responding
    1. Timing
    2. Strategic tips for drafting narrative responses
    3. Privileges and confidentiality
    4. Preparing for production


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What are the key considerations for environmental counsel when responding to an EPA information request letter?
  • What are the areas that have proven to be red flags for the EPA?
  • What steps should counsel take to ensure privileges are protected?


Mikolop, Todd
Todd S. Mikolop

Hunton Andrews Kurth

Mr. Mikolop advises and defends clients in internal investigations and environmental enforcement actions, and counsels...  |  Read More

Schilling, Emily
Emily Schilling

Holland & Hart

Ms. Schilling provides strategic counsel to companies of all sizes navigating complex air quality challenges. She...  |  Read More

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