Rich Walka, Senior Vice President and Ellen DeOrsay, Senior Associate at D&B Engineers and Architects, P.C. made a return trip to Albany on June 20th to participate in a second Stakeholder’s Meeting regarding the Department’s draft Self-Audit Policy. Under the direction of Executive Deputy Commissioner Marc Gerstman, General Counsel Steven Russo, Director Jack Nasca and other Executive Staff of the Commissioner of the NYSDEC, the Stakeholder Group was established to offer a balanced, yet broad spectrum peer review of the development of the policy. Consisting of members of environmental groups and the regulated community, including business leaders from manufacturing, utilities and service sectors along with a representative of The Business Council of New York State, local municipal governments, academia and various state governmental agencies, Rich and Ellen were invited to participate and share their almost 10 years of direct experience with a comparable self-audit initiative undertaken by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency beginning in approximately 1999. At the current time, the State plans on incorporating the most recent round of comments and discussion into the developing draft policy, with the goal of publishing the document in the Environmental News Bulletin for public comment during the latter part of 2012.
Overall, the goal of the policy is to improve environmental compliance by offering incentives to the regulated community to conduct self-audits identifying areas of non-compliance and disclose and correct violations in a timely fashion. In addition, the incentives would be designed to encourage the regulated community to “go beyond compliance” by investing in Environmental Management Systems as well as advancing Pollution Prevention initiates that might not otherwise be required by typical regulatory requirements. Once the document is published in the ENR there would be an approximately 60 day comment period allowing the general public to review and offer comments. Stay tuned for more as the policy develops. You can contact Rich or Ellen at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, respectively for more information.