Jump to main content.

Compliance Assistance Basic Information

Compliance Assistance Program Offices

What is compliance assistance?

Compliance assistance is one of four tools that EPA uses for promoting or addressing compliance with environmental laws and regulations. It includes activities, tools or technical assistance that helps the regulated community understand and meet its obligations under environmental laws and regulations or assists other compliance assistance providers in their efforts. The others are compliance monitoring, compliance incentives and enforcement.

Compliance assistance advances regulatory compliance, as well as recommends to the regulated community cost-effective ways to comply with regulations.

Who provides compliance assistance?

Compliance assistance is provided by a variety of government and non-government entities. Although EPA and other federal agencies provide direct compliance assistance, the primary providers are the states and tribes. In addition, many trade associations provide compliance assistance directly to their members. Universities and the consulting industry are a growing source of compliance assistance information.

There are also some targeted regulatory requirements for compliance assistance. Section 507 of the Clean Air Act and the Small Business Regulatory Fairness Act (SBREFA) mandate specific services to small businesses and communities. In addition, as a matter of policy, EPA will develop either a compliance guide or a self-audit checklist for federal regulations with an "economically significant" impact on companies and/or government facilities.

Why is compliance assistance important?

Compliance assistance may help providers and the regulated community implement new regulations; address problems with existing regulations; or address national, regional, geographical, local or facility-specific environmental issues.

How does EPA provide compliance assistance?

The Office of Compliance (OC), within EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA), and EPA Regional Offices facilitate compliance assistance communications among Agency program offices, compliance assistance providers, individual businesses and trade associations.

To reach members of a sector, EPA works with sector leaders and organizations, and uses communication channels shared within each sector. Sectors can be broadly defined - construction, manufacturing, agriculture, or government - or more narrowly defined - residential construction, automobile assembly, poultry production or drinking water supply. Historically EPA has used the Standard Industrial Codes (SIC) to categorize and maintain data on sectors. These codes are useful when searching EPA data systems. EPA is now in the process of converting to the more recent North American Industry Classification System.

Other EPA offices also provide compliance assistance. Typical activities include developing and distributing regulatory guidance materials, developing and conducting workshops and training courses, developing web-based tools, operating telephone "hotlines" and responding to regulatory questions from the regulated community and trade associations.

Regional compliance assistance activities include developing and conducting workshops and training sessions, responding to questions from the regulated community, developing and distributing guidance materials and providing direct on-site compliance assistance. Each region has designated a central Compliance Assistance Coordinator.

Top of Page

Compliance Assistance Program Offices

The Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) is the national lead for compliance assistance activities. OECA's Office of Compliance (OC) develops effective compliance assistance materials that assist the regulated community in understanding environmental regulations. The Monitoring, Assistance and Media Programs Division within OC is the focal point for compliance assistance policy and tool development for many of the environmental statutes. In addition, the division also has responsibility for compliance assistance policy and tool development for some statutes.

Every EPA regional office is involved with compliance assistance.

Region 1 - (ME, NH, VT, MA, RI, CT)   Region 6 - (NM, TX, OK, AR, LA) 
Region 2 - (NY, NJ, PR, VI)   Region 7 - (NE, KS, IA, MO)  
Region 3 - (PA, DE, DC, MD, VA, WV)   Region 8 - (MT, ND, WY, SD, UT, CO) 
Region 4 - (KY, TN, NC, SC, MS, AL, GA, FL)  Region 9 - (CA, NV, AZ, HI) 
Region 5 - (MN, WI, IL, MI, IN, OH)  Region 10 - (WA, OR, ID, AK) 

Top of Page

Compliance Assistance | Compliance Monitoring | Compliance Incentives


Local Navigation

Jump to main content.