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List members,

Thought you all would find this of interest. EPA played "gotcha" with some
of my clients and they resented it.


>                      _______________________________________________
>                                Date: June 15, 2001 -
>EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman has committed the agency to
>boosting its
>compliance assistance efforts to ensure companies are in line with
>environmental laws before
>enforcement actions are necessary, telling industry officials June 12, "I
>don't care what you're
>doing in your plant, I care what you're doing in the environment."
>Whitman also called on business leaders during a meeting of the National
>Association of
>Manufacturers to help educate the public about industry's compliance with
>rules, arguing that
>most companies make a good faith effort to comply with the law and are in
>fact good corporate
>Sources say Whitman also wants to move away from the Clinton-era practice
>of bringing
>"gotcha" enforcement actions, where the agency identifies an area of
>noncompliance and then brings a massive, sector-wide enforcement action
>without ever offering
>to help facilities come into compliance.
>An EPA official explains that Whitman's basic philosophy on enforcement is
>that the agency
>should work cooperatively with industries to identify problematic areas in
>the nation's
>environmental laws or rules that companies are unaware of and help
>businesses come into
>compliance before the need for punitive enforcement actions are necessary.
>However, industry officials and Whitman say the changes in philosophy have
>yet to be
>implemented in the agency's enforcement program, due largely to a lack of
>political leadership
>at EPA's Office of Enforcement & Compliance Assurance (OECA) and in the
>regions, and that
>enforcement staff are "going on as if nothing has been changed."
>An EPA official says that Whitman hopes to build partnerships with industry
>and identify
>specific rules and requirements that have caused companies problems and
>work with officials to
>help facilities comply with the laws. Similarly, the source says that in
>many cases, the agency
>has done a poor job of publicizing rules or providing industry with
>adequate guidance on
>compliance with key regulations, and that Whitman will press OECA and the
>rest of the agency
>to better identify obscure regulations and highlight them so that industry
>has enough information
>to avoid noncompliance.
>Once political leadership is in place, Whitman will direct enforcement
>officials to "form those
>partnership and work with [industry] . . . instead of playing gotcha," the
>source explains.
>However, the source also warns "she will not hesitate to use the stick if
>that's necessary."
>During her speech Whitman also urged businesses to launch a public
>education campaign to
>convince citizens -- and inspectors and enforcement personnel -- that
>industry is generally in
>compliance with the rules and wants to be a good neighbor. By convincing
>the public that
>industry is not scheming to find ways to violate laws, it would be possible
>to better ensure that
>"inspections get done in a way that is more congenial."
>Source: Inside EPA via InsideEPA.com
>Date: June 15, 2001
>Issue: Vol. 22, No. 24
> Inside Washington Publishers