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.