The MPCA offers environmental audits to help businesses and organizations examine how well they are complying with environmental regulations, and correct any problems that are identified.
The program focuses first on technical assistance and compliance, rather than enforcement. Organizations that conduct environmental audits are likely to take the necessary actions to correct problems, before the problems can develop into major environmental or public health issues. Organizations may hire a consultant to perform their audit or do it in-house.
Organizations that meet program requirements are protected from enforcement actions and penalties, unless they:
- Are causing serious environmental harm or endangering public health
- Are involved in criminal activities
- Have committed the same violations in the past three years (there was an enforcement action with monetary penalty), or the past year (there was an enforcement action and no monetary penalty).
How to participate
A facility must submit a report to the MPCA (see the Report Inventory below) summarizing the audit results or the findings from the facility's environmental management system. For smaller facilities, reports must certify that the owner or operator has examined pollution prevention opportunities. Larger facilities must also summarize their pollution prevention plan. A facility must correct problems identified within 90 days, or submit a performance schedule to the MPCA for approval, and describe steps that will be taken to prevent a recurrence of the problem(s).
Environmental audit checklists
The MPCA has created environmental audit checklists to help organizations review their operations for compliance issues.