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Enforcement: Advantages to Self-Reporting

Written by: Barry Needleman

Many states, including New Hampshire, have laws in place that encourage the self-reporting of environmental violations. The United States Environmental Protection Agency also has a policy that deals with self-reporting. Voluntary disclosure of non-compliance can offer several significant advantages. However, each situation must be evaluated and managed.

Based on the specific facts, entities that self-report non-compliance may be entitled to receive a substantial, and possibly complete, reduction in the civil or administrative portion of any penalty. For example, in one recent State air compliance matter, the New Hampshire Attorney General's office specifically acknowledged the importance of self-reporting and indicated that cooperation and responsiveness in that matter resulted in a significant penalty reduction from what might otherwise have been assessed.

Determining how and when to self-report environmental violations is an exercise that requires care. In order to meet the requirements of federal and certain State audit privilege policies, specific information must be provided and entities must adhere to strict deadlines. Some care must also be taken to determine whether a particular violation is one that can or should be reported under a given audit policy. Information also should be handled to ensure that appropriate legal privileges are established and maintained throughout the entire process.

Generally, identifying and self-reporting environmental problem is a good corporate policy that may offer substantial benefits. The key to accessing those benefits is to be proactive about compliance and to be careful about how information is developed and managed.

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At McLane Middleton we establish and maintain long-standing relationships with our clients to help us better achieve their unique goals over time. This approach to building trust requires that our esteemed lawyers and professionals use their broad, in-depth knowledge and work together with integrity to ascertain sound resolutions to legal matters for their clients.

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McLane Middleton is made up of more than 105 attorneys who represent a broad range of clients throughout the region, delivering customized solutions. As a firm we are recognized as having the highest legal ability rating. The firm is rated Preeminent by Martindale Hubbell and is recognized as one of the nation's leading law firms in Chambers USA. Our attorneys are distinguished leaders in their respective practice areas.

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McLane Middleton's versatile group of attorneys and paralegals become trusted authorities on each case through collaboration. We work with our clients to learn their individual needs first and foremost and, together, we develop comprehensive solutions to their specific legal matters. This approach helps us exceed our clients' expectations efficiently and effectively, client by client, case by case.

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McLane Middleton was established in 1919 in New Hampshire, and has five offices across two states. However, deep historical roots don't allow you to become innate. Our firm is organized, technological, and knowledgeable. Our history means we are recognized. But our reputation is built on the highest quality of service and experience in very specific areas of law.

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