Environmental policy tools and evaluation

Ensuring Environmental Compliance: Trends and Good Practices -- Contents


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The following is the Contents of the OECD Ensuring Environmental Compliance: Trends and Good Practices.




Chapter 1: Compliance Assurance as Part of the Regulatory Framework

Environmental compliance assurance is the application of all available instruments aimed at influencing the behaviour of regulated entities to comply with regulatory requirements. Its principal functions are to promote voluntary compliance, detect and reverse non-compliance, and, as appropriate, punish the offender. This chapter considers the main elements of a compliance assurance system and the key factors affecting its design.


Chapter 2: Management Aspects of Compliance Assurance

This chapter addresses a range of cross-cutting management aspects of environmental compliance assurance programmes, including funding, strategic planning, performance assessment, and the reduction of administrative complexity and costs. These management aspects reflect the design of a compliance assurance system and, to a large extent, shape the development of individual instruments of compliance promotion, monitoring, and enforcement.


Chapter 3: Compliance Promotion

Compliance promotion includes assistance, incentives, and other activities designed to promote observance of environmental requirements. Compliance promotion can reduce compliance costs to businesses by allowing them to achieve and maintain compliance as efficiently as possible, and may allow a reduction of compliance assurance costs to regulators by increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of compliance monitoring and enforcement activities. This chapter focuses on such tools as dissemination of information on the requirements and compliance means to the regulated community, promotion of good corporate environmental management, financial incentives, and using public pressure to encourage compliance.

Chapter 4: Compliance Monitoring and Assessment

Compliance monitoring supports regulatory programme implementation in various ways. The most obvious one is detecting violations and quickly correcting some of them. Compliance monitoring also provides evidence to support enforcement actions and, in doing so, deters non-compliance. In a broader perspective, compliance assessment supports compliance assurance strategies through better knowledge of the regulated community and contributes to the evaluation of regulatory programme implementation. This chapter considers best practices in the use of key compliance monitoring tools in the studied countries as well the main trends in their development. It also analyses different approaches to risk-based targeting of compliance monitoring activities and describes the expanding role of self-monitoring and reporting by industrial operators.


Chapter 5: Non-compliance Response
Environmental non-compliance response comprises any actions taken by the competent government authority alone or in co-operation with other institutions to correct or halt behaviour that fails to comply with environmental regulatory requirements. The common classification of non-compliance responses is based on the different branches of law authorising each measure: administrative, civil, and criminal. This chapter addresses the hierarchy of these categories of instruments and the choice between them before looking at the use of particular tools within each category in the studied countries. Separate sections analyse best practices in the assessment of administrative and judicial monetary penalties and the role of the public in environmental enforcement.

Chapter 6: Conclusions

This chapter summarises the main trends identified in the analysis of specific elements of environmental compliance assurance programmes in the eight reviewed countries and indicates issues for examination in future studies on this matter.

Chapters 7-14: Country profiles

Brief country profiles describe the environmental compliance systems of each country that participated in the study. Each profile first presents key features of the legislative and institutional frameworks related to compliance assurance as well as the principal regulatory regimes for industrial pollution prevention and control. It then provides an overview of the country’s approaches and instruments in the areas of compliance promotion, compliance monitoring and enforcement. The profiles also contain information about funding, strategic planning and performance assessment of compliance assurance activities.