12 March 2020

The EPA Issues Final Rule on Inspections in Civil Cases

On March 2, 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule providing the procedures for EPA inspections in civil cases. Specifically, the final rule lays out information about (1) the timing of inspections and facility notifications, (2) inspector qualifications, (3) obtaining consent to enter the facility, (4) the “opening conference” with facility representatives, (5) the physical inspection, (6) managing confidential business information, (7) personnel interviews, (8) reviewing relevant records, (9) taking samples and (10) a closing conference to discuss open questions and missing documents. In addition, the rule requires the EPA to share its inspection report with the facility following the inspection.

This rule applies only to on-site civil inspection procedures; it does not apply to criminal investigations or the execution of a warrant.