Faced with declining budgets, widespread enforcement problems, and an increasingly complex array of environmental challenges, regulators across the world are searching for new strategies to facilitate compliance with environmental laws. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has spearheaded these efforts with the introduction of its “Next Generation Compliance” initiative, through which the agency hopes to leverage information and technology to streamline enforcement procedures and strengthen compliance with federal environmental laws. Cynthia Giles, the Assistant Administrator for the EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) has outlined five key elements of this initiative – rules with compliance built in, advanced pollution monitoring technologies, electronic reporting systems, increased transparency, and innovative enforcement strategies.
In December 2012, EPA representatives and other stakeholders participated in a two-day workshop to exchange ideas and develop strategies for implementing a “Next Generation” approach to environmental enforcement and compliance. This book is a compilation of selected papers from that workshop. These papers cover a broad array of topics, ranging from relatively abstract comparisons of different compliance approaches to focused case studies of regulatory programs. Some of the specific mechanisms identified by the authors to streamline enforcement and compliance include: advanced monitoring technologies, self-certification programs, company compliance management systems, environmental petitions, insurance mechanisms, and regulatory approaches that leverage a company’s internal economic interests to drive behavior.