EPA Inspections and Audits - Federal Lawyer
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EPA Inspections and Audits

Our EPA Lawyers and Consultants Help Companies Assess, Manage, and Overcome Risk During Inspections and Audits

Carlton S. Patton
Carlton S. Patton
EPA Inspections and Audits Team Lead
Former EPA CID Special Agent
Nick Oberheiden
Attorney Nick Oberheiden
EPA Inspections and Audits Team Lead
envelope icon Contact Nick

For companies that need to maintain United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) compliance, being prepared to undergo inspections and audits is a necessary part of the process. The EPA conducts inspections and audits in a wide range of scenarios in an effort to protect human health and the environment; and, to ensure they are prepared to withstand the EPA’s scrutiny, companies must conduct internal EPA compliance audits as well.

We help companies assess, manage, and overcome risk during all types of EPA inspections and audits. With a team that includes former EPA personnel, we are intimately familiar not only with the EPA’s expectations, but also what it takes to meet these expectations efficiently. By helping our clients ensure that they are thoroughly prepared to face scrutiny from the EPA during an environmental audit, we help them avoid unnecessary costs and risks—and we help set them up for long-term success with the tools to maintain compliance with EPA regulations.

Our EPA Inspection and Audit Services

Within our EPA practice, we assist companies throughout the United States with all aspects of environmental compliance. This includes not only helping our clients implement effective compliance policies and procedures, but also helping our clients manage compliance through internal audits and helping them demonstrate compliance to the EPA when necessary. As a result, we routinely serve as:

Compliance Counsel for Internal EPA Audits

For companies that need to maintain EPA compliance, conducting periodic internal audits is an essential component of effective compliance management. Simply implementing compliance policies and procedures is not enough. To ensure that they are maintaining compliance with the Clean Air Act (CAA), Clean Water Act (CWA), Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA), and all other pertinent laws and regulations on an ongoing basis, companies must routinely and thoroughly assess the efficacy of their compliance programs.

Our lawyers and consultants routinely assist companies with conducting internal EPA audits. When assisting clients with their internal audits, we take a comprehensive and systematic approach focused on helping our clients achieve three main goals: (i) efficiently identify any issues with their EPA compliance programs that require rectification; (ii) generate and store documentation of their ongoing EPA compliance efforts; and, (iii) create efficiencies that facilitate consistent and effective internal auditing. With these goals in mind, our internal EPA audit services broadly entail:

  • Audit Scope – We begin by identifying and documenting all aspects of the company’s operations that need to be examined during the audit process. This ensures that the company’s internal audits are sufficiently comprehensive while being no broader than necessary.
  • Audit Structure – Once we have a clear understanding of the scope, we then structure audit processes to facilitate efficient and comprehensive assessments of our client’s EPA compliance efforts. We thoroughly document this as well to facilitate repetition and consistency in future audits.
  • Record Identification – Determining the scope of a company’s internal EPA audit needs also allows us to determine which records need to be reviewed during the audit process. We log all relevant records and their location, once again with the goal of facilitating both comprehensiveness and consistency.
  • Inspection and Review – Once we have laid the groundwork for a successful internal EPA audit program, we conduct the audit itself. This involves reviewing the relevant records, inspecting the relevant facilities, and doing anything else that is necessary to fully assess the company’s EPA compliance. We typically work alongside our clients’ key stakeholders, overseeing their efforts as necessary.
  • Analysis and Response – After completing an internal audit, our lawyers and consultants analyze the results to determine what responsive measures (if any) are necessary. Depending on the outcome, responsive measures could include things like retraining (or training new personnel), modifying operations to come into compliance, or implementing new EPA compliance policies and procedures to address changes in the company’s structure or operations.

Defense Counsel for EPA Inspections and Audits

Facing scrutiny from the EPA can present substantial risks. Even when an inspection is fully anticipated (i.e., in the case of an inspection during the pesticide registration application process), simple mistakes and oversights can lead to delays, denials, additional costs, and additional scrutiny from the EPA.

In many areas of EPA compliance, inspections and audits are inevitable. With this in mind, companies that are subject to the EPA’s oversight need to ensure that they are prepared. At Oberheiden P.C., we help our clients survive EPA inspections and audits by providing assistance including (but not limited to):

  • Preparing the Relevant Documentation and Facilities – We help our clients locate and prepare the documentation they will need to provide to the FDA during its inspection or audit. If the client has not recently conducted an internal EPA audit, we also work quickly to assess the client’s compliance through both a review of the relevant documentation and an inspection of the relevant facilities.
  • Responding Promptly to EPA Inspection and Audit Notices – Responding appropriately to an EPA inspection or audit notice can help set the stage for an efficient review and favorable resolution. We ensure that our clients have a clear understanding of what they can expect, we help our clients prepare as thoroughly as possible, and we address any concerns with the notice itself before the inspection or audit process begins.
  • Communicating with EPA Inspectors and Auditors for Our Clients – Throughout the audit or inspection process, we serve as the EPA’s point of contact. We keep our clients fully informed while also ensuring that the EPA’s auditors or inspectors properly apply all applicable laws and regulations.
  • Overseeing the Inspection or Audit Process (and Intervening as Necessary) – Without effective oversight, EPA audits and inspections can create unnecessary risks and lead to unnecessary costs. To prevent these outcomes, our lawyers and consultants remain actively involved throughout the process, working to proactively address any concerns before they lead to bigger issues.
  • Steering the Audit or Inspection Toward a Positive Result – By playing an active role throughout the audit or inspection process, our lawyers and consultants can typically help steer the EPA’s inquiry toward a favorable resolution. This helps our clients avoid the need to re-file applications, file appeals, and take other steps that lead to costs and delays.

Put our highly experienced team on your side

Dr. Nick Oberheiden
Dr. Nick Oberheiden

Founder

Attorney-at-Law

Lynette S. Byrd
Lynette S. Byrd

Former DOJ Trial Attorney

Partner

Brian J. Kuester
Brian J. Kuester

Former U.S. Attorney

Amanda Marshall
Amanda Marshall

Former U.S. Attorney

Local Counsel

Joe Brown
Joe Brown

Former U.S. Attorney

Local Counsel

John W. Sellers
John W. Sellers

Former Senior DOJ Trial Attorney

Linda Julin McNamara
Linda Julin McNamara

Federal Appeals Attorney

Aaron L. Wiley
Aaron L. Wiley

Former DOJ attorney

Local Counsel

Roger Bach
Roger Bach

Former Special Agent (DOJ)

Chris Quick
Chris J. Quick

Former Special Agent (FBI & IRS-CI)

Michael S. Koslow
Michael S. Koslow

Former Supervisory Special Agent (DOD-OIG)

Ray Yuen
Ray Yuen

Former Supervisory Special Agent (FBI)

Why Choose Oberheiden P.C. for EPA Compliance and Defense?

Recognizing that facing scrutiny from the EPA can lead to significant costs, why do companies choose Oberheiden P.C. for EPA compliance and defense? Companies throughout the United States choose us to assist with their EPA audits and inspections because of:

1. Our Team

Our team includes former EPA personnel as well as former U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) attorneys who prosecuted environmental crimes (among other offenses) before entering private practice. As a result, we are extremely well-versed in the EPA’s audit and inspection practices.

2. Our Experience

Our lawyers and consultants’ experience in the public and private sectors includes handling an extremely wide range of EPA compliance matters across a broad spectrum of industries. When experience matters, you want Oberheiden P.C. on your side.

3. Our Reputation

Both within and outside of the federal government, we are known for our experience successfully representing clients in complex and high-stakes federal matters. This includes our experience protecting clients during EPA inspections and audits.

FAQs: What Company Owners and Executives Need to Know About EPA Audits and Inspections

How Do I Prepare for an EPA Audit or Inspection?

Preparing for an EPA audit or inspection is a multi-step process that starts with understanding the scope of the EPA’s inquiry. Once you know what areas of compliance the EPA will be analyzing, then you can identify all relevant documentation, conduct an internal compliance assessment, and determine how best to handle the inspection or audit.

What Happens if My Company Fails an EPA Audit or Inspection?

The consequences of failing an EPA audit or inspection depend on the nature of the inquiry and what exactly the EPA’s auditors or investigators find. In some cases, failing an audit or inspection can lead to denial of registration, a “no sale” order, or other administrative penalties to fix violations. In others, it can trigger additional scrutiny with the potential for civil enforcement or criminal prosecution for violations of federal environmental laws.

Does the EPA Require Companies to Conduct Internal Compliance Audits?

No, the EPA does not require companies to conduct internal compliance audits. As a practical matter, however, conducting periodic internal compliance audits is essential for maintaining an effective EPA compliance program.

What If I Have Concerns About My Company’s EPA Compliance (or Lack Thereof)?

If you have concerns about your company’s EPA compliance efforts, you should consult with outside EPA counsel promptly. If your company is not in compliance, facing an EPA inspection or audit could present substantial risks.

Should I Engage Outside Counsel for an EPA Inspection or Audit?

Yes, due to the potential risks involved, engaging outside counsel for an EPA inspection or audit is strongly recommended. At Oberheiden P.C., we represent companies in EPA inspections and audits nationwide, and we can provide representation on an emergency basis if necessary.


Inquire About Our EPA Audit and Inspection Services

If you would like more information about our EPA audit and inspection services, we invite you to schedule a complimentary consultation. Please call 888-680-1745 or contact us online to speak with a member of our EPA team in confidence today.

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