Copyright (c) 1995 Northern Kentucky University
Northern Kentucky Law Review
ARTICLE: KENTUCKY'S ENVIRONMENTAL SELF-AUDIT PRIVILEGE: STATE PROTECTION OR INCREASED FEDERAL SCRUTINY?
23 N. Ky. L. Rev. 1
by Clinton J. Elliott 1
With the growing magnitude of environmental laws impacting large and small businesses alike, 2 any competent business management plan must increase its focus on environmental issues to avoid the ever widen- ing net of environmental liability. 3 Indeed, businesses and anyone coun- seling them should know that numerous federal, state, and local environ- mental programs mandate complex monitoring, recordkeeping, and even public disclosure requirements, 4 all of which carry substantial penalties for non-compliance. 5 Moreover, the "greening" of corporate America itself, if to be successful, must rely in large part on self-imposed corpo- rate awareness and internal compliance auditing to compliment environ- mental protection performed by government regulators and public watch- dogs. 6 The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has even recently stated that the goals of protecting public health and safeguarding the environment can be achieved only with such cooperation from the regu- lated community. 7 To this end, the EPA and states alike recognize the continuing need for incentives to encourage businesses to voluntarily conduct environmental self-audits. 8 While such audits should be proac- tive in nature, however, the very undertaking of an audit raises concerns that the voluntary audit may unnecessarily expose the company to liability both from the government and private plaintiffs, or in fact may unneces- sarily uncover something that otherwise may be buried forever. 9
In response, a number of states have adopted environmental self-audit statutes in an attempt to encourage industry to assess, achieve, and main- tain operational compliance with environmental ...
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