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Environmental Audits and Self-Disclosure

Posted by attorney Ellen Gregory

In Indiana, a member of the regulated community (including large and small businesses and employers) may voluntarily report violations of environmental regulations to IDEM. In exchange, if certain requirements are met, IDEM has the discretion to reduce or eliminate penalties assessed for those violations.

However, the waiver or reduction in penalties are subject to certain conditions, which include:

  • the violation must have been discovered through an environmental audit or other systematic procedure for detecting instances of non-compliance
  • the violations must have been discovered voluntarily, and not through a legally-mandated monitoring or sampling event
  • the regulated entity must disclose the violation within 45 days after it was discovered
  • the violation must be disclosed before any Federal or State inspection or investigation is initiated
  • the violation must be corrected or remediated within 60 days after the disclosure to IDEM
  • the regulated entity must take steps to prevent a recurrence of the violation
  • the policy does not apply to violations that are the same or similar to violations that have occurred within the past 3 years at the same facility
  • the policy does not apply to violations that may cause serious environmental harm or risk to human health
  • the regulated entity must cooperate and provide information requested by IDEM

Always consult a qualified environmental professional prior to disclosing information that could implicate your company or open it up to enforcement.

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