In NLJ Article, David Quigley and Charles Franklin Offer Tips on Preparing for an Environmental Regulatory Rollback

Akin Gump environment and natural resources partner and practice head David Quigley and senior counsel Charles Franklin have written the article “Readying for an Environmental Reg Rollback,” which was published by The National Law Journal. The article discusses some steps that in-house counsel and compliance officers can take in advance of any unwinding by President Trump of Obama-era environmental regulations.

Quigley and Franklin write that “the use of self-audit and disclosure policies to encourage voluntary detection, disclosure, correction, and prevention of environmental violations” has been supported in the past by Democratic and Republican administrations. Many requirements, however, still expose companies to “potentially crippling sanctions and penalties for what can be relatively minor violations.”

The authors outline what some of those penalties might be, including notices of violations, stop sale, use and removal orders for products, tight timeframes for a return to compliance, and monetary fines and penalties. They note there is also the specter of criminal penalties, including imprisonment. “Industry stakeholders,” they write, “have a unique opportunity to shape future enforcement policies.”

In the end, the authors write that “the voluntary audit and eDisclosure modifications put in place by Obama fit neatly within the environmental regulatory system taking shape under Trump.” Companies should feel emboldened, they say, by the important compliance incentives that are in place and they may benefit further as these incentives are poised to expand.

To read the full article, please click here.