EPA Launches eDisclosure System

On December 9, 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officially launched its new electronic portal for the submission of certain voluntary disclosures of federal environmental violations under its self-audit policies. The details of the eDisclosure system are largely consistent with what EPA presented during its June 2015 announcement and related webinars, as discussed in the June 2015 Thompson Hine Environmental Update, with a few important distinctions.

The new system may impact how voluntary disclosures are processed and whether disclosing parties receive the same level of closure as EPA provided under the prior system. In a reversal of longstanding policy, EPA has also eliminated the presumption that unresolved Audit Policy disclosures are exempt from information requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and in fact confirmed it will attempt to make most unresolved disclosures available shortly after the disclosure is made.  Continue…