- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
The policy has been under consideration after several court decisions in the 2000s noted that the law would hold to the maxim of "buyer beware."
"This is an opportunity for new owners to make a 'clean start' by correcting environmental problems that began under the previous owner's watch," said Granta Y. Nakayama, assistant administrator of the agency's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. "This can lead to big gains for the public and the environment."
Under the current EPA Audit Policy, the agency offers reduced penalties to companies that self-audit their facilities, promptly disclose and correct any violations discovered, and take steps to prevent future violations. Under the interim policy announced last week, an owner who acquires a new facility may get additional penalty reductions from disclosing an even greater range of violations.
While the policy went into effect immediately, the EPA noted it will accept public comment until Oct.30, 2008. The policy may change in light of these comments.