Voluntary disclosure of potential violations exists in various agency programs. Essentially, voluntary disclosure programs allow a facility to self-report with respect to environmental compliance with the possibility of decreased fines and enforcement actions. Voluntary disclosure programs often have specific timelines and also require that certain criteria be met with respect to the reported information. For example, a facility that has been issued a Notice of Violation (NOV) cannot report any of those violations under voluntary disclosure. However, a facility can implement a program to determine compliance and report non-compliance findings to the applicable agency. The main reason agencies have such programs in place is that it provides an incentive to facilities for reporting; it promotes cooperation between the agency and regulated party; and often corrects non-compliance more rapidly and often with lower fines than “standard agency inspection procedures”.
RTP has helped several facilities determine the status of compliance, reporting of such non-compliance findings to the appropriate agencies, the preparation of corrective action plans and assistance with agency negotiations. Typically, voluntary disclosure activities are conducted under attorney client privilege, with activities directed by legal counsel to maintain confidentiality until such time the report(s) is submitted to the appropriate agency. Determination of the status of compliance is typically completed as one would conduct a compliance audit with follow-up activities related to corrective actions and agency negotiations. Compliance with environmental rules, permits and registrations cannot be taken lightly. If you have questions or concerns regarding regulatory compliance at your facility please contact an RTP office. One or our experts will confidentially discuss your project to assist your needs.