Epa Compliance

Written by Shirley Parker
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The Environmental Protection Agency has the responsibility of enforcing compliance with environmental laws of the United States. However, it does not work independently; rather, it operates in cooperation with other federal agencies, state governments, and tribal governments. Objectives are not easily obtained, especially when governments are unaware of a problem until a private citizen or watchdog organization calls in a tip or files a formal complaint.

Employees of a company that is not in compliance with environmental laws may be well aware of the violations but fear reporting their employer for reasons of personal safety or loss of employment in an economy that is dicey at best. It is not just Hollywood that portrays violators as threatening connivers and using hit men to silence whistle blowers. Such intimidation happens, as after-the-fact investigations have shown.

It is the EPA's responsibility to reduce or eliminate threats to public health and the environment itself, in spite of goons and other unlovely inhabitants of the planet. They provide an Internet form for reporting violations, according to region, and the person reporting does not necessarily have to identify himself. Such ID does assist with later follow-ups, but isn't required. In many cases, the violation is referred to the applicable state environmental office for action. If that has already been done, with no change in the violator's activities after an undetermined amount of time, it wouldn't hurt to state that in the Tip/Complaint field of the report. Nothing like stirring the pot, as they say, but sometimes things do take a long time and persistence is needed.

Compliance Assistance Platform

To say that environmental regulations are a mass of confusion would not be putting it too strongly, but EPA supplies help in many ways, including a network of assistance centers on the Internet. They are very willing to help business, industry, and other agencies sort out what their obligations are. Training is provided in various ways, including websites, telephone assistance, fax-back systems for obtaining documents, and e-mail discussion groups. All of it is related to the type of industry the business is involved in. Examples are: Agriculture, Auto Repair, Printing, Transportation, federal facilities, local government, border compliance, and many more.

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