The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is developing a Next Generation Compliance program to address non-compliance with environmental regulations, according to a draft national program manager guidance for fiscal year (FY) 2014. The EPA Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance will establish the Next Generation Compliance program to take advantage of advances in emissions monitoring and information technology. The program manager guidance documents are to provide a framework for regional, state, and tribal implementation of EPA’s annual plan and budget and its strategic plan. The EPA regional offices can use the guidance to establish work-sharing plans with states.
What is Next Generation Compliance?
The EPA Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance is working with EPA’s program offices and regional offices to design regulations and permits that include Next Generation Compliance tools. The Next Generation Compliance initiative will involve using advanced emissions detection technology to spot pollution discharges to help industry prevent releases and to help governments and the public target non-compliance. In addition, the initiative will include advanced monitoring technology. The guidance also indicates EPA will require a wider use of electronic reporting of sources, pollution, and compliance.
What is important to know about the Next Generation Compliance program?
The EPA also intends to make monitoring and reporting information publicly available. As part of the initiative, the EPA is using enforcement approaches, such as fence line monitoring, in its compliance efforts. Settlements and enforcement investigations include advanced monitoring and electronic reporting. According to the enforcement office’s draft guidance, a strategic plan for the Next Generation Compliance program will be prepared by the end of FY 2013.
In an overview of the program manager guidance for FY 2014, the EPA identified several topics that are prioritized across the various offices’ individual guidance documents. For example, offices are integrating sustainability and climate change into their programs. Specifically, the EPA Office of Water’s guidance stated that regional offices need to determine actions states can take to adapt their clean water and drinking water programs to climate change.
Where can my company obtain more information?
The EPA Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance draft national program manager guidance for FY 2014 is available at http://www2.epa.gov/sites/production/files/documents/draftfy14oecanpmgdnce.pdf.
Draft program manager guidance for other EPA offices can be accessed at http://www2.epa.gov/planandbudget/fy-2014-draft-npm-guidances.