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Compliance Incentives

EPA promotes compliance by providing compliance incentives -- policies and programs that reduce or waive penalties under certain conditions for business, industry, and government facilities that voluntarily discover, promptly disclose, and expeditiously correct environmental problems.


This page contains information about:

EPA's Audit Policy -- Provides incentives for the regulated community to come into compliance with federal environmental laws and regulations through self-assessment, disclosure, and correction of violations.

Tailored Incentives for New Owners -- On August 1, 2008, EPA published in the Federal Register (FR) its “Interim Approach to Applying the Audit Policy to New Owners (“Interim Approach),” which describes Audit Policy incentives tailored for new owners that want to make a “clean start” at their recently acquired facilities by addressing environmental noncompliance that began prior to acquisition. 

The Interim Approach, which was effective upon publication of the FR, is designed to motivate new owners to audit their facilities and to encourage self-disclosures of violations that will, once corrected, yield significant pollutant reductions and benefits to the environment.  EPA is concurrently seeking public comment on the Interim Approach for a period of 90 days.

Compliance Auditing Protocols -- Tools for the regulated community and others to develop programs for facilities to evaluate compliance with federal environmental laws.

Compliance Incentives Programs -- In connection with the Audit Policy, EPA has established programs to promote environmental compliance and correction of violations by offering incentives to the regulated community in exchange for agreements to self-assess, disclose, correct and prevent future violations. Incentives may include:

Market-Based Incentives -- Information about EPA's collaboration with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to encourage disclosure of environmental information in accordance with the mandatory corporate disclosure requirements promulgated by the SEC.

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