EPA and North Dakota DEQ establish procedures and policies for administration of State's self-audit law
Bismarck, N.D. -- Today, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and the North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality (NDDEQ) entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (Agreement) to establish procedures and policies for administration of the North Dakota Environmental Audits Law (self-audit law).
Under this Agreement, EPA recognizes that North Dakota’s self-audit law and policy encourages greater compliance with laws and rules protecting public health and the environment.
According to Dave Glatt, NDDEQ Director, the purpose of an environmental self-audit is for companies, as the regulated entity, to identify and correct noncompliance, and improve future compliance.
“The environmental audit process is another compliance tool that may be utilized by the regulated community to reduce noncompliance and achieve environmental and health benefits for North Dakota and its citizens,” said Glatt.
“EPA and NDDEQ share a joint mission of securing environmental compliance,” said EPA Regional Administrator Gregory Sopkin. “This Agreement provides assurance to the regulated community that if they use the State self-audit law they will be dealing with NDDEQ without micromanaging from EPA. This will improve participation in and the efficiency of our self-audit efforts and deliver environmental benefits for the people of North Dakota.”
Some of the benefits of self-audits include:
- improving public health and environmental protection through pollution reduction;
- expediting corrective action which leads to more timely pollution reductions;
- providing future benefits by preventing re-occurrence of noncompliance;
- saving agency resources by allowing inspectors to focus on non-compliance at other facilities;
- correcting non-compliance, thereby providing for a level playing field;
- verifying current compliance for companies; and
- reducing operating costs through improvements in the production or energy-saving processes.