Policy and Criteria for Compliance Screen
I.Purpose of Compliance Screen
Compliance Screens are conducted to ensure that Partners in the Partnership for a Sustainable Georgia with access to state recognition and regulatory incentives are operating in compliance with applicable federal, state and local environmental rules and regulations. Results of a compliance screen are used to inform the Partnership’s Advisory Panel (AP) in their consideration of top tier applicants’ eligibility for the program, and determination of annual Partnership awards.
- Bronze and Champion Level applicants are not subject to a compliance screen.
- Silver and Gold Level applicants and Gold Level Partner renewals (at the end of a three-year term) are subject to a compliance screen.
- For Gold and Silver Level applicants jointly applying to EPA’s National Environmental Performance Track (NEPT), one compliance screen for both programs will be coordinated between the NEPT Region 4 Coordinator and the Partnership.
- Silver or Gold Level Partners will undergo a compliance screen prior to being recognized with an annual Partnership award.
III. Procedure for Conducting Compliance Screen
- Following an application completion review, P2AD will provide appropriate applicant names and facility addresses to the Environmental Protection Division (EPD) Assistant Director, who will coordinate the compliance screen. Within two weeks of receipt of information from P2AD, EPD will notify the Partnership Program Manager of compliance screen results.
- P2AD staff will contact local government references to conduct a compliance screen of local requirements and permits.
IV. Mandatory Criteria for Application and Renewal Process
Participation in the Partnership is “inappropriate” if any of the following occur:
- Corporate criminal conviction or plea for violations of federal environmental law involving corporation or corporate officer within the past five years.
- Criminal conviction or plea of employee at same facility for violations of federal environmental law within past five years.
- Ongoing criminal investigation/prosecution of corporation, corporate officer, or employee at same facility for violations of federal environmental law.
- Silver Level Applicants/Partners that have three or more significant violations at the facility in the past three years; Gold Level Applicants/Partners that have one or more significant violations at the facility in the past three years.
- For the purpose of this document and procedure, significant violation is defined as a civil penalty, a special order of consent, an injunction, a temporary restraining order, a stop work order, or more than two Notice of Violations (NOV) or Significant Non-Compliance (SNC). A SNC is a term used to describe compliance status related to the violations of environmental requirements that EPA deems the most serious and that may pose a more severe level of environmental threat (a more detailed description is provided on EPA’s website at www.epa.gov/performancetrack/program/sustain.htm#noncompliance.)
- Exceptions can be made if the Advisory Panel determines that the nature of the violations resulting in more than two NOVs is not environmentally significant.
- Planned but not yet filed judicial or administrative action.
- Ongoing, EPA- or state-initiated litigation.
- Outstanding obligations under an order or decree that are integrally related to a proposed project.
- Situations where the applicant is not in compliance with the schedule and terms of an order or decree.
- Appearance on EPA debarment or suspension list (available on Internet on GSA homepage at www.arnet.gov/epls/; updated weekly).
V. Discretionary Criteria
Advisory Panel will use their discretion in approving an applicant’s compliance screen results.
VI. Applicant/Partner Appeal Process
- If an Applicant/Partner is deemed to have an unacceptable compliance history (i.e. fails to meet the criteria listed above), then the Partnership Program Manager will formally notify the facility of the finding in writing and gives the Applicant/Partner an opportunity to dispute/respond to the findings.
- The Applicant/Partner will be allowed 30 days to respond by taking corrective measures or providing documentation to dispute and resolve the findings. If corrective measures resolve or clarify the issue, AP will reevaluate its decision about the Applicant’s/Partner’s application and provide recommendation to the Partnership Program Manager within two weeks.
- If the Applicant/Partner is still found to have an unacceptable compliance history, the Partnership Program Manager will notify the facility that they are not eligible for participation in the Partnership at the Level for which they applied. However, Applicants will be given the option to submit an application for a lower Level in the Program.