Governing Law and Regulations
Audit Privilege and Immunity Law, Ohio Revised Code Annotated (ORCA) 3745.70 to 3745.74
Definitions: ORCA 3745.70
Audit report protection: OCRA 3745.71
Voluntary disclosure incentives: ORCA 3745.72
Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA)
See ADDRESSES & CONTACTS for addresses and telephone numbers.
See national section for basic information and federal regulations.
Comparison: State vs. Federal
• Rules. Ohio provides immunity from civil and administrative penalties to regulated persons or facilities for the voluntary disclosure of certain violations uncovered during an environmental self-evaluation or audit. A voluntary environmental audit is considered privileged and, therefore, immune from discovery and not admissible as evidence in civil or administrative penalty actions, if the facility owner or operator meets certain conditions.
• Administration and enforcement. OEPA administers and enforces Ohio's audit privilege rules.
Environmental audit. An environmental audit is a voluntary, thorough, and documented self-evaluation by the owner or operator of one or more activities at a facility or group of facilities. An "activity" is any process, procedure, or function that is subject to environmental laws. The self-evaluation (audit) is designed to improve compliance or identify and correct noncompliance with environmental laws. It can be conducted by the owner, operator, company employees, or a contractor.
The audit is not considered to be initiated until the person(s) conducting the audit actively begins the self-evaluation. It must be completed within 6 months after it is actively initiated, unless a ...