What is an EPA Notice or Direction?

If waste or pollution is present during an EPA inspection, or some kind of non-compliance is detected, EPA officers can issue a ‘notice or direction’. What is an EPA notice? 

Although these are technically not sanctions, they do form part of the compliance and enforcement framework. A sanction may often follow, if your business does not adhere to a notice or direction.  

The EPA Compliance and Enforcement policy (p11) describes notices as “a formal record that EPA has required action by a duty holder to remedy a risk of harm”.

There are a different types of ‘notices or directions’, such as:

– An improvement notice requires a person to take action to remedy non-compliance, such as adopt new processes or procedures.

– A Prohibition notice requires a person to stop an activity that involves an immediate risk of harm. This could force you to stop your business operations for a period of time.

– A notice to investigate requires a person to investigate potential contamination or harm, for example conduct monitoring or a risk assessment.

– An environmental action notice requires a person to take action to clean-up contamination at your site.

– A waste abatement notice requires a person to remove, dispose or restore a place affected by litter or waste.    

Notices can impose strict timeframes and costly action on your business. If you fail to comply, a sanction or prosecution may follow.    

It is important to understand the obligations and costs that a notice or direction imposes on your business.  

You also have rights to negotiate the notice’s content and timing of actions, or request a review of the notice or direction.  

GEDedge has experience negotiating notices and directions with EPA to help your business decide what to do next.

Contact GEDedge for more information.

Let’s Work Together