Audits: What you need to know

Governing Law and Regulations

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, 5 USC 601

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Small Business Compliance Policy, 65 Federal Register (FR) 19629

Factors in Decisions on Criminal Prosecutions for Environmental Violations in the Context of Significant Voluntary Compliance or Disclosure Efforts by the Violator, U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) (Effective July 1, 1991)

Incentives for Self-Policing: Discovery, Disclosure, Correction, and Prevention of Violations (Audit Policy), 65 FR 19617

Interim Approach for Applying the Audit Policy to New Owners: 73 FR 44991

Attorney-Client Privilege: General Provisions Governing Discovery; Duty of Disclosure, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) Rule 26

Market-based compliance incentives: 17 CFR 229.101, 17 CFR 229.103, and 17 CFR 229.303

Regulatory Agencies

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance

EPA Voluntary Disclosure Board

U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Environment and Natural Resources Division Policy, Legislation, and Special Litigation Section

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

See ADDRESSES & CONTACTS for addresses and telephone numbers.



Environmental audits enable businesses and organizations to systematically uncover wasteful and inefficient activities, and minimize or, under EPA's Audit Policy, eliminate exposure to regulatory penalties when potential violations are discovered. The benefits of environmental audits include:

  • Systematic discovery and correction of operational inefficiencies and waste, which may result in cost savings
  • Defining compliance liabilities, including the limitations of individual ...

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More on this topic:

Governing Law and Regulations
Regulatory Agencies
EPA's Audit Policy
Other Federal and State Policies
Audit Procedure and Protection
Other Compliance Incentives
Attorney-Client Privilege
Additional Guidance
Guidance Documents

State Requirements

Alabama | Arizona | Arkansas | California | Colorado | Connecticut | Delaware | Florida | Georgia | Illinois | Indiana | Iowa | Kansas | Kentucky | Louisiana | Maryland | Massachusetts | Michigan | Minnesota | Mississippi | Missouri | Montana | New Hampshire | New Jersey | New York | North Carolina | Ohio | Oklahoma | Oregon | Pennsylvania | Rhode Island | South Carolina | Tennessee | Texas | Utah | Virginia | Washington | West Virginia | Wisconsin |

Audits Resources

Audits Products

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HR Audit Checklists
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Free Special Reports
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This special report contains a recordkeeping checklist to help you keep track of your records for major environmental laws and OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard.

Also included are 3 useful tables which provide:
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