Compliance Assistance Basic Information
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Compliance Assistance includes activities, tools or technical assistance which provide clear and consistent information for
- helping the regulated community understand and meet its obligations under environmental regulations, or
- compliance assistance providers to aide the regulated community in complying with environmental regulations.
Compliance Assistance may also help the regulated community find cost-effective ways to comply with regulations and/or go "beyond compliance" through the use of pollution prevention, environmental management practices and innovative technologies, thus improving their environmental performance.
For a project or activity to be categorized as compliance assistance, at least one objective must relate to achieving or advancing regulatory compliance.
- Who is a Compliance Assistance provider?
- What counts as a Compliance Assistance activity?
- Categories of Compliance Assistance activities
Who is a Compliance Assistance provider?
A compliance assistance provider is any organization or individual that assist regulated entities comply with or understand regulatory requirements.
What counts as a Compliance Assistance activity?
- must have at least one objective that advances regulatory compliance. This requirement does not mean that there be a one to one relationship between a specific regulation and the activity; but rather, that the activity should be able to advance the regulatory program. For example, an audit or EMS guide for RCRA LQGs can include P2, beyond compliance or other innovative practices
- can be integrated with other tools such as inspections or enforcement
- can be training other regulatory agencies as long as the intent of the training is for the regulators to then train the regulated community in understanding their legal obligations
- can include grants as long as the primary intent of the grant is for compliance assistance and EPA can track or verify that the grant money was in fact used for that purpose
- can include technical assistance or program implementation as long as a portion of the activity is intended to advances a regulatory program and is for the regulated community and/or compliance assistance providers
Categories of Compliance Assistance activities
We have defined four broad categories of activities that are encompassed within the definition of compliance assistance and are generally consistent with how the Regions report on their compliance assistance activities in the Integrated Compliance Information System (ICIS).
These four basic categories cover the key areas of any generic compliance assistance program. Program implementation and technical assistance activities can be viewed as compliance assistance as long as there is a regulatory component.
- Tools Developed: The creation of written documents (e.g. regulatory implementation guides, checklists, fact sheets, brochures, newsletter, etc.) and electronic material (e.g. expert system, CD-ROMs, Internet web sited, etc.) that are intended to help the regulated community, other compliance assistance providers and the public understand environmental requirements.
- Workshops/Trainings and Presentations at Meeting: Events that are sponsored in whole or in part by EPA to raise awareness and /or educate regulated entities, other compliance assistance providers or the public understand environmental requirements or outreach/education events that are not sponsored by the program but where EPA is called inspectors to conduct inspections is not compliance assistance
- Telephone Hotlines and Website: Actual use and maintenance of toll-free hotlines and publicly available websites, including Clearinghouses, Compliance Assistance Centers, and fax back services
- On-Site Assistance: An EPA employee(s) or authorized agent (e.g., SEE employee, contractor) provides compliance or technical assistance during an on-site visit such as an Environmental Management Review, a pollution prevention assessment or any other time where EPA is not representing itself as an official inspector
- Integrating Compliance Assistance and Incentives with Enforcement in EPA and State Planning Meetings (June 11, 2002)
- Enhancing EPA's Compliance Assistance Programs (February 25, 2002)