Document Type



This article examines the changing intersection of environmental auditing, environmental law, and enforcement policy. It will begin by reviewing the concept of environmental auditing and will then discuss sources of existing legal authority to require or encourage audits and their limitations. Next, the article examines EPA's existing audit policies and the rationale behind them. It will consider the relationship between these audit policies, enforcement policy, and voluntary disclosures of environmental violations, which has recently been reviewed by the Department of Justice. The article will then consider two alternative models which might be used to establish the role of environmental auditing in environmental regulation. First, it will consider portions of the Community Right-to-Know legislation adopted by Congress in 1986, which can be considered a limited form of mandatory environmental auditing. Then, environmental auditing will be compared to the financial auditing process developed under the securities laws, which mandates broad financial auditing. The article will conclude by briefly describing recent legislative and U.S. Sentencing Commission proposals to broaden the use of environmental audits.