Environmental Compliance and Enforcement with Environmental Integrity Projects’ Eric Schaeffer
This week, I sat down with a highly-regarded member of the environmental NGO community, Eric Schaeffer, who currently serves as the Executive Director of the Environmental Integrity Project, which he co-founded in 2002. Previously, Eric worked for more than a decade at EPA, including a five-year stint as the Director of EPA’s Office of Civil Enforcement, which, as you will hear in our conversation, was a very formative time for his thinking.
At a time when some news outlets and EPA detractors are reporting environmental enforcement numbers to be at historic lows, Eric and I had a great discussion about the possible reasons for this, as well as the other goals and methods that his organization employs to encourage compliance and help protect the environment.
Throughout our conversation, we also managed to touch on EPA’s evolving enforcement strategy, how ideally to address non-compliant companies, voluntary disclosures by businesses that discover indiscretions, remote pollution monitoring techniques, and even the much-discussed idea of cooperative federalism.
Eric has a well-deserved reputation for being tough but fair and honest. His candid assessment of what is working well for EPA enforcement and industry compliance professionals and what needs improvement may surprise you. What comes through in a very big way is Eric’s approach to analyzing and addressing issues, one that, not surprisingly, is based on the integrity of the enforcement process and a respect for the environment.
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