The Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s (IDEM) mission is to implement federal and state regulations to protect human health and the environment while allowing the environmentally sound operations of industrial, agricultural, commercial and government activities vital to a prosperous economy.
There are many components required to implement this mission, including a lot of interaction with Indiana’s businesses. IDEM works diligently to inform businesses and the regulated community about environmental regulations, compliance practices, environmental stewardship opportunities, and pollution prevention techniques. Occasionally, businesses find that they are not meeting the regulatory requirements that apply to them, and that is why IDEM created the Self-Disclosure and Environmental Audit Policy (MP-004-R2, available on the IDEM Nonrule Policies page).
What is the purpose of the policy and to whom does it apply?
The Self-Disclosure and Environmental Audit Policy was adopted on April 5, 1999, and revised on November 16, 2006 and on February 5, 2010. The purpose of the Audit Policy is to enhance protection of human health and the environment by encouraging Indiana’s regulated entities, including small businesses, to voluntarily discover, disclose, correct and prevent violations of federal and state environmental requirements. The Policy provides a number of incentives to regulated entities for closely examining their operations and facilities.
The Self-Disclosure and Environmental Audit Policy Factsheet (available on the IDEM Fact Sheets page) should be reviewed by interested parties to answer questions like:
- Why should an entity identify and voluntarily disclose violations to IDEM?
- What are the conditions an entity must meet to take advantage of the incentives offered in the policy?
- Does disclosing a violation mean that the entity will not have to pay a civil penalty?
- Does disclosing a violation mean that IDEM will not recommend prosecution of the regulated entity to an Indiana Prosecuting Attorney?
What is the process for disclosing and correcting violations?
Entities that think they may have violations of environmental regulations should follow these steps:
- Review the Self-Disclosure and Environmental Audit Policy (MP-004-R2, available on the IDEM Nonrule Policies page).
- Review the Self-Disclosure and Environmental Audit Policy Factsheet (available on the IDEM Fact Sheets page).
- Contact the Compliance and Technical Assistance Program staff in their area to discuss the situation confidentially and get help with any questions they have about the policy and the process.
- Formally apply by filling out the Self-Disclosure and Environmental Audit Application (State Form 55075, available on the IDEM Forms page).