What You Need to Know about Environmental Audits
Sept. 11, 2018
Environmental audits allow companies to identify, assess, and fix problems before it’s too late. In addition, in many cases, federal and state laws can be used to shield companies from penalties assessed for violations discovered during voluntary audits. However, there are a few things that you should consider before undertaking an environmental audit in Texas, including:
1) Determine the purpose of the audit
Before beginning your audit, it’s important to define your goals. With the exception of comprehensive environmental audits, you should always clearly determine what it is you’re examining. This will make is easier down the line to report and address any issues that you uncover.
2) Be ready and willing to address any issues discovered during the audit
Before you start an audit, you should be prepared to address any issues that are discovered. It does little good to uncover problems if you don’t plan on fixing them. You should be willing to do whatever needs to be done to fix problems uncovered during the audit. In fact, if you discover an issue and fail to address it, this can actually lead to more legal problems than if you were unaware of the problem in the first place.
3) Be ready and willing to self-report the findings of the audit
In addition to fixing problems that you find during your environmental audit, you should be willing to self-report the findings. As mentioned above, there are certain laws that shield self-reporting companies from penalties. Also, self-reporting can demonstrate good faith on the part of the audited organization.
4) Consider hiring an experienced Texas attorney to assist with the audit
Audits are beneficial, but they also carry a certain amount of risk. Therefore, it’s highly recommended that you hire an experienced Texas attorney to assist with every aspect of your audit. An experienced Texas environmental law attorney will understand the pros and cons associated with your audit, and he or she will be able to advise you on issues such as self-reporting, penalties, and the overall audit process.
If you or your company require guidance on environmental audits in Texas, then you need an experienced Texas attorney like C. William Smalling on your side. C. William Smalling, with a background in engineering, understands both the technical and legal aspects of situations affecting corporations in the oil, gas, and energy industries. Whether advising companies on voluntary audits, negotiating with the government, or litigating government enforcement actions and private tort suits, the experience of C. William Smalling provides corporate clients with a significant edge in all oil, gas, and energy matters. We take pride in providing our business clients with the legal tools to remain confident while navigating the complicated world of environmental regulations. If your company needs the guidance of any kind in the area of environmental law, please contact the Law Office of C. William Smalling for a consultation.