Electronic Self-Disclosure under the EPA Audit Policy
EPA’s Web-based system allows for electronic self-disclosure under the EPA Audit Policy. The pilot program, known as the Audit Policy Self-Disclosure system or eDisclosure, allows companies nationwide to electronically self-disclose violations of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) including:
- Emergency Notification (section 304)
- CERCLA section 103 (only if Emergency Notification violation disclosed)
- Material Safety Data Sheets (section 311)
- Emergency and Hazardous Chemical Inventory Forms (section 312)
- Toxic Chemical Release Forms (section 313)
Facilities located in EPA Region 6 states - - Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas - - can also use eDisclosure to self-disclose violations of other federally enforceable environmental laws. Once EPA has gained experience with electronic self-disclosures, EPA will refine the system, as necessary, and decide whether to expand, on a nationwide basis, the eDisclosure system to allow regulated entities to electronically self-disclose violations of other federally enforceable environmental requirements for possible incentives under the Audit Policy.
eDisclosure uses EPA's Central Data Exchange (CDX) to access and submit the eDisclosure forms. Find out more about EPA's Central Data Exchange (CDX).
On this page:
- Why self-disclose
- Caveats for electronic self-disclosure
- How to Submit an Electronic Self-Disclosure
- Detailed Electronic Self-Disclosure Instructions
For Small Businesses
If you are the owner of a small business (100 or fewer employees) and are considering disclosing environmental violations electronically, please see the EPA's Small Business Compliance and Enforcement page for important information on the Small Business Compliance Policy.
Submitting Audit Policy disclosures electronically makes self-reporting violations easier, speeds EPA processing times and reduces transaction costs by ensuring that each disclosure contains complete information, and will assure consistency in how disclosures are processed and reviewed by EPA.
EPA’s two voluntary disclosure policies, the Audit Policy (PDF), (11 pp, 262K, About PDF) and the Small Business Compliance Policy (PDF) (18 pp, 80K, About PDF), provide incentives for regulated entities that voluntarily discover, promptly disclose, and expeditiously correct non-compliance, rendering formal EPA investigation and enforcement action unnecessary.
A business confidentiality claim may not be asserted with respect to any information submitted through eDisclosure. If you do not wish to use this electronic reporting process, if you are asserting a business confidentiality claim, or if you would like to self-disclose a violation of another environmental law and are not located in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, or Texas, you may send your self-disclosure to the appropriate contact listed at the EPA's Audit Policy Self-Disclosure and Regional Contacts Web site.
The electronic self-disclosure forms
Please note that EPCRA eDisclosure forms may only be used once. You will need to request an EPCRA eDisclosure form even if you have a copy of the form saved from a previous electronic disclosure. A unique Processing ID is assigned to each form for tracking purposes.
Using the Central Data Exchange (CDX) for eDisclosure
eDisclosure uses EPA's Central Data Exchange (CDX) for submissions to the Agency. The Central Data Exchange (CDX) enables fast, efficient and accurate environmental data submissions.
When an electronic self-disclosure is submitted using eDisclosure, all information provided will be saved in a secure database and routed to the appropriate EPA contact. The information you provided concerning the discovery, disclosure, and correction of the violations and the accompanying certification will then be evaluated against the EPA Audit Policy conditions, and the appropriate enforcement response will be determined.
Submitters will be notified about receipt of, and enforcement response, to each disclosure. Note that if you download the form and then do not submit it, EPA may decide to contact you.
For more information on:
- self-disclosure, including guidance documents see EPA's Audit Policy
- questions about EPA’s Audit Policy or eDisclosure, contact Phil Milton, (firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-564-5029) with EPA’s Office of Civil Enforcement
- specific regulations and statutes
Step 1: Register in EPA’s Central Data Exchange (CDX)
Register as a user on the CDX registration page. Registering as a CDX user allows you to access the eDisclosure form.
Step 2: Access Electronic Self-Disclosure Form
Log in to CDX and indicate that you would like to make a disclosure under EPA’s Audit Policy. An e-mail with the eDisclosure form will be sent to you. You will use this form and the Processing ID contained in the e-mail to make your disclosure. (See example eDisclosure National EPCRA form).
Step 3: Prepare the Disclosure: Complete Form and Any Additional Files
On your own computer, fill out all applicable sections of the eDisclosure form, including the Processing ID, and compile any additional self-disclosure materials. The form will check that your entries are complete.
Step 4: Submit Self-Disclosure
Log in to CDX and upload the eDisclosure form that you saved to your computer and any additional materials. Uploading the form to CDX finalizes your submission.
Step 5: EPA Review and Resolution
The EPA Regional Office or Headquarters assigned to your disclosure will review all submitted materials and determine the appropriate enforcement response.
To register in CDX requires the use of Internet Explorer with 128-bit encryption support. Use the latest version.
Users employing an earlier version of Internet Explorer may update their
encryption support to enable 128-bit encryption support at
Register in the Central Data Exchange (CDX) Registering as a user allows you to provide disclosure information; the registration process will collect information about you and your company, and will set up challenge questions to be used to change your password.
Once registered in CDX, you will be able to access the forms needed to submit electronic self-disclosures of EPCRA violations, and violations of other environmental laws if the facility is located in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, or Texas.
- Go to the CDX registration page. Read the Warning Notice and Privacy Statement and then click "Click here to continue."
- On the Terms and Conditions page, read all terms and click "I ACCEPT."
- On the first Registration page, enter requested user information. Click "Next."
- On the second Registration page, enter requested organization information. Click "Next."
- On the third Registration page, select "Audit Policy Self-Disclosure (eDisclosure)." Click "Next."
- The fourth Registration page using the Program ID Type select the appropriate Type from the drop-down menu – National EPCRA or Region 6 (AR, LA, NM, OK, TX). Type N/A or the appropriate state abbreviation for the ID, and use WEBFORM for Submission Method. Click "Finished."
- You will receive an e-mail from CDX confirming your registration status and username.
Alternatively, if you are already a registered CDX user, add "eDisclosure" to your programs in CDX:
- Log into CDX.
- Navigate to MyCDX and the add a program page.
- Add “Audit Policy Self-Disclosure (eDisclosure)”. Using the Program ID Type select the appropriate Type from the drop-down menu – National EPCRA or Region 6 (AR, LA, NM, OK, TX). Type N/A or the appropriate state abbreviation for the ID, and WEBFORM for Submission Method. Click "Finished."
You will use the eDisclosure form to provide information
- about yourself,
- the company,
- the facilities involved,
- the violation,
- the nine conditions of EPA’s Audit Policy, and
- the cost of compliance.
You will be provided the form only after you register in CDX and indicate that you:
- wish to proceed in making a self-disclosure, and
- understand that you intend to disclose potential violations of federal environmental laws, regulations, and/or requirements to the United States Environmental Protection Agency and that the Agency will review your disclosure and make its determination in accordance with the Audit Policy, including any appropriate penalty mitigation.
You will receive an e-mail in about an hour from EPA with the form and a Processing ID.
Please note that eDisclosure forms may be used only once; you will need to request an eDisclosure form even if you have a copy of the form saved from a previous electronic disclosure in order to be assigned the unique Processing ID.
To be provided the form,
- Log in to CDX.
- You will have two Available Account profiles: one to request the form and the other to submit the form.
- Click eDisclosure: Request Form.
- Navigate to the Instructions.
- Select the appropriate form - EPCRA eDisclosure Pilot Form or Region 6 Audit Policy Disclosure (AR, LA, NM, OK, TX only) - in the drop down menu.
- Click "Request Form."
- A window will appear asking if you wish to make a disclosure and warning of the potential consequences. If you wish to disclose click "OK." Click "REQUEST FORM."
- You will receive an e-mail with the eDisclosure form and a unique Processing ID.
- Download the form and save it to your computer.
- Do not delete the e-mail. You must enter the Processing ID on the form before submission.
It is important to fill out your eDisclosure form as accurately and completely as possible. The form has a number of built-in checks to verify that information entered into a field matches the required format. For example, if you enter letters instead of numbers for a ZIP code, the form will alert you with a pop-up message describing the inconsistency. Additionally, to ensure the entire form is complete, it must be validated before it is submitted.
For some disclosures, additional materials are required. For example, if the disclosure involves multiple facilities, supplemental facility information must be submitted. Other disclosures may require submission of related documents including written facility or corporate audit or compliance policies and procedures to document conformance with the systematic discovery condition. Materials may be in any format and must be under 10 megabytes in size.
To complete the form:
Use a pdf reader, such as Adobe Reader, to open the form. If you do not already have a pdf reader program on your computer, you may download a free version of Adobe® Reader®. For more information and to download Adobe® Reader® see About Portable Document Format (PDF) Files. You will need Adobe® Reader® version 7 or higher to validate and save the EPCRA eDisclosure form.
- Enter the Processing ID into the eDisclosure form. This ID was provided to you in the e-mail from EPA.
- Fill in all applicable fields on the form. You will need information including:
- The Processing ID
- Company name and organization
- Contact information for submitter
- Facility name, physical location, contact information, and, if possible, EPA program ID numbers for the facility(ies) in question
- Description of the violation
- Date the violation was discovered, how it was discovered, and who discovered the violation
- Physical location of the violation
- Explanation of how each of the nine (9) Audit Policy conditions is met:
- Systematic Discovery
- Voluntary Discovery
- Prompt Disclosure
- Discovery and Disclosure Independent of Government or Third Party Plaintiff
- Correction and Remediation – When? How?
- Prevention of Recurrence – How?
- No Repeat Violations
- Other Violations Excluded
Once you have completed and saved the form and additional materials, you are ready to submit your self-disclosure. Submitting the form and additional materials finalizes the disclosure; once submitted, all information will be saved in a secure database and the appropriate EPA contact will be notified to review the disclosure.
To submit the disclosure:
- Log in to CDX.
- Select “eDisclosure: Submit Form” on the MyCDX page.
- Navigate to the "Instructions."
- Select your eDisclosure Form and additional materials, if appropriate, using the "Browse" button.
- Upload all materials at once.
- A window will appear asking you to certify before you can submit the document(s).
- Click "SUBMIT FORM" to finalize your submission.
- You will receive an e-mail acknowledging receipt of your disclosure and the assigned Regional or Headquarters office, a point of contact, and any additional instructions.
- You may view the Transaction History and obtain the Transaction ID on the MyCDX page.
Once the assigned Regional Office or Headquarters receives notice that you have submitted a disclosure, it will review and evaluate your submission against the EPA Audit Policy conditions and determine the appropriate enforcement response.
- Disclosures are routed either to an EPA Regional office or to EPA Headquarters (for those cases involving facilities located in more than one Region).
- The office will check the disclosure for completeness. If necessary, the office will contact you with a request for additional information and/or materials.
- Once the office has determined that the disclosure is complete, it will review the submitted materials against EPA’s Audit Policy.
- When the office has finished its review, you will be contacted with the enforcement response. Disclosures are resolved through either a Notice of Determination for cases where no penalties are assessed, or through administrative penalty orders or judicial consent decrees for cases where penalties are assessed.