Environmental Law Enforcement and Compliance

Strong environmental laws that protect our natural resources and safeguard our health must be complemented by effective enforcement. To establish an enforcement regime that effectively detects, corrects, and deters violations requires thoughtful strategies, well trained inspectors, supporting legal tools, and a fair and just sanction system.

In 2012, the EPAT set out a plan to collaborate with the U.S. EPA to upgrade its inspection and penalty programs. In 2013, the EPAT and U.S. EPA held an international inspection workshop for participants from Taiwan and Southeast Asia. This was followed by a dedicated enforcement workshop for EPAT and municipal inspectors.

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In 2013, EPAT selected eight outstanding participants from the enforcement workshop for inspectors to attend a two-week training program hosted by the U.S. EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region in San Francisco during October 2014. This provided the delegates with a unique opportunity to enhance their training skills and refine current enforcement practices. The program included case studies that closely examined the U.S. EPA’s enforcement structure, approaches to case selection and priority setting, inspector responsibilities, penalty assessment and offset practices. The EPAT is using the outcomes of the program to refine its enforcement practices and strengthen the training of its inspectors.

The EPAT is committed to expanding its international engagement on enforcement during 2015. This will include attendance at the Next Generation Compliance Workshop in Washington D.C. in August, hosting an international enforcement conference in Bangkok, conducting high-level visits to Washington D.C. and San Francisco, and launching a new round of enforcement training workshops in Taiwan and San Francisco.