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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 96-1677


Voluntary Environmental Compliance Audit Policy

[26 Pa.B. 4804]

   The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is announcing a final policy to encourage companies, local governments and individuals to find and fix environmental problems by conducting environmental compliance audits and other self-assessments under a Comprehensive Management System.

   Under the policy, a company, local government or individual conducting an environmental compliance audit or other systematic self-assessment and taking action to promptly correct violations uncovered by the self-assessment would be entitled to a waiver from fines and penalties, if they disclose those violations to DEP. The Department previously published a notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin on February 10, 1996 requesting comments on the proposed policy.

   The policy would not apply to intentional violations or when significant environmental harm occurs or for repeat violations.

   An environmental audit is a comprehensive, systematic, documented evaluation of whether a facility or company meets environmental laws and regulations. It includes not only an evaluation, but regular reporting requirements and schedules for correcting problem areas uncovered by the audit. The policy also provides that DEP can approve procedures for use by small businesses to help assure continuous compliance.

   The policy will also encourage the establishment of compliance management systems including those meeting the ISO 14000 environmental standards.

   A copy of the final policy, a comment and response document, and a question and answer fact sheet is available on DEP's World Wide Web Site at: (choose Public Participation Center/New Policies and Proposals/Final) or by e-mail request to:

   Copies are also available by writing: Voluntary Audit Policy, Department of Environmental Protection, P. O. Box 8464, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8464; or telephone (717) 787-7060; or fax: (717) 783-8926.


[Pa.B. Doc. No. 96-1677. Filed for public inspection October 4, 1996, 9:00 a.m.]

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