Governing Law and Regulations
State audit privilege: Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) 468.963
Environmental audit: ORS 468.963(1) and ORS 468.963(6)
Environmental audit report: ORS 468.963(6)
Audit privilege: ORS 468.963(2) and ORS 468.963(3)
Overriding audit privilege: ORS 468.963(4)
Self-policing, disclosure, and penalty mitigation: Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR) 340-012-0160
Economic benefit: OAR 340-012-0150
Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)
See ADDRESSES & CONTACTS for addresses and telephone numbers.
See national section for basic information and federal regulations.
Comparison: State vs. Federal
• Rules. In an effort to encourage facility owners and operators to conduct voluntary internal environmental audits and to assess and improve compliance with environmental statutes, Oregon has enacted an environmental audit privilege statute and adopted a penalty mitigation policy.
Oregon protects environmental audit information as non-admissible evidence in a civil, criminal, or administrative action, including enforcement actions under state law. However, a facility may have to disclose results of an audit to regulatory investigators if the audit privilege was fraudulently claimed. Also, the privilege may be lost if noncompliance is not promptly corrected.
In addition, the state will use its penalty discretion to waive or reduce penalties that are discovered as a result of an environmental audit or systematic compliance. The amount of penalty reduction is based on the degree of compliance with the conditions set forth in the policy.
• Administration and enforcement. DEQ administers and enforces Oregon's audit privilege rules.
STATE AUDIT PRIVILEGE