The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) recently issued an Environmental Audit Incentive Policy designed to make it easier for companies to protect the environment. This initiative “rewards” companies who perform environmental audits, voluntarily report and correct violations and prevent pollution. Such “rewards” may include, among others, penalty waivers, penalty mitigation and being recognized as a “low NYSDEC-inspection priority”. In a Press Release dated October 17, 2013, NYSDEC Commissioner Joe Martens announced that the policy goes into effect November 18, 2013. “This new policy….encourages companies to responsibly audit their operations and return to compliance to avoid fines for violations,” said Commissioner Martens. “It incentivizes companies who make a long-term commitment to go beyond compliance performance which saves them money and protects the environment.”
The policy has evolved over the past several years after much stakeholder involvement. Rich Walka, Senior Vice President, and Senior Associate, Ellen DeOrsay, at D&B Engineers and Architects, P.C. were invited by the Department to participate as stakeholders and assist in drafting the new policy. Rich and Ellen were requested to share their 10 years of prior direct experience with a comparable self-audit initiative undertaken at the federal level by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-Region 2. Recognizing D&B’s efforts in developing the policy, Commissioner Marten’s office included a quote from Rich in each of two press releases associated with release of both the draft and final version of the policy.
To obtain a copy of the Commissioner’s Press Release as well as the final policy, we urge our readers to visit www.dec.ny.gov/press/93880.html, otherwise, contact either Rich Walka or Ellen DeOrsay at 516-364-9890 Ext. 3006 (email@example.com) or Ext. 3053 (firstname.lastname@example.org), respectively. If your company or municipality is considering the merits of this policy contact Rich or Ellen for a no-cost consultation.