EPA Launches eDisclosure Portal to Help Facilities Self-Report Environmental Violations

Posted on 12/9/2015 by Roger Marks

US EPA today announced the launch of its eDisclosure Portal to help regulated businesses self-report violations of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) and other environmental regulations.

Self-reporting violations of the US EPA’s environmental regulations can benefit businesses in a number of ways—including possible reduction in the civil penalty amount the facility must pay.

How EPA Self-Reporting Works

When a facility discloses its own violation of EPA rules to the Agency and complies with a number of conditions, EPA can grant relief from some civil penalties and may be less likely to enforce mitigation action or other mandatory environmental projects. Read more about EPA’s requirements for self-reporting violations under the self-audit policy.

Changes Since Announcing the eDisclosure Portal Launch

Since announcing plans to launch the new online self-reporting tool this year, EPA has adjusted the vocabulary used to describe self-reported violations. Instead of splitting these violations into two “tiers” (Tier I and Tier II), EPA refers to them as “Category 1” and “Category 2” violations in order to eliminate possible confusion with the EPCRA Tier II reports some facilities must file.

self reporting EPCRA violations

The Two Categories of Self-reported Violations

EPA can accept two “categories” of self-reported violations through the new eDislcosure Portal. Category 1 includes EPCRA violations that meet all Audit Policy conditions and those that meet all Small Business Compliance Policy conditions. For Category 1 violations, the self-audit portal will issue a Notice of Determination (NOD) confirming that the violation has been resolved with no civil penalty assessed.

For Category 2 violations—including all non-EPCRA violations, EPCRA violations not discovered systematically, and EPCRA/CERCLA violations excluded from Category1—EPA will issue an Acknowledgement Letter (AL) confirming that EPA has received the disclosure and will determine penalty mitigation eligibility if and when it takes enforcement action.

Read EPA’s full announcement in the Federal Register.

Interactive Workshops for EHS Professionals

Gain a clear view of how to comply with EPA rules that affect your site. At the Complete Environmental Regulations Workshop, EHS professionals collaborate; share best practices; and learn what to report, collect, and keep on file to comply with EPA’s major air, water, and chemical programs. From reporting and permitting under the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act to chemical management and reporting under TSCA, FIFRA, EPCRA, and more, you will leave the workshop ready to navigate the EPA regulations that affect your facility with confidence.

Tags: EPA, EPCRA, reporting and recordkeeping

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