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Compliance Basic Information

Compliance Program Offices

What is compliance?

Compliance simply means conformity with environmental laws and regulations. EPA uses various methods to achieve compliance, including compliance assistance, compliance monitoring and compliance incentives.

What is compliance assistance?

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

What is compliance monitoring?

Compliance monitoring protects human health and the environment by ensuring that the regulated community obeys environmental laws/regulations through on-site visits by qualified inspectors and reviewing information EPA or a state/tribe requires to be submitted.

What are compliance incentives?

Compliance incentives encourage government, industry and business facilities to assess their overall compliance with environmental requirements and voluntarily correct and report compliance problems. EPA’s incentive programs include the Audit Policy (Self-Policing Policy), environmental management systems, pollution prevention, the small business policy, the small communities policy and other innovations.

Why is compliance important?

Compliance protects human health and the environment by improving environmental behavior through regulatory and nonregulatory means. EPA works to ensure that government, business and the public meet federal environmental requirements and assists them to do more. EPA programs are designed to ensure compliance with federal environmental laws and regulations, to increase voluntary and self-directed actions to minimize or eliminate pollution before it is generated (pollution prevention), and to promote environmental stewardship behavior all contribute to the achievement of a better environment.

Who provides compliance?

The Office of Compliance (OC), within EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA), and the regions facilitate compliance assistance communications among Agency program offices, compliance assistance providers, individual businesses and trade associations. In addition, OECA conducts compliance monitoring activities independently or through the states and tribes under a cooperative agreement.

Compliance incentives are provided by OECA's Office of Civil Enforcement (OCE), Office of Planning, Policy Analysis and Communication (OPPAC), Office of Compliance, and the Federal Facilities Enforcement Office (FFEO).

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Compliance Program Offices

The Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) is the national lead for compliance activities. OECA's Office of Compliance (OC) develops effective compliance assistance materials and assures effective monitoring of regulated businesses. It also promotes compliance by small businesses and communities. The Office of Civil Enforcement (OCE) coordinates EPA's Audit policy. The Federal Facilities Enforcement Office (FFEO) encourages compliance through environmental management systems and pollution prevention programs.

Every EPA regional office assist in providing compliance activities.

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)



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