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Enviro-Check Updates: 

Changes to the Enviro-Check program now in effect

On August 6, 2021, 2021 Wisconsin Act 78 made several changes to Wisconsin’s environmental compliance audit program’s (Enviro-Check) process. Program staff are working on updating the information to reflect these changes. In the meantime, please contact the program with any questions.

These changes will more closely align Wisconsin’s Enviro-Check program with US EPA’s audit programs. Key changes to the program as a result of Act 78 include:

  • Changing the amount of time a regulated entity has to correct violations identified in an audit from 90 days to 60 days generally, 180 days if the entity is a small business stationary source, and 360 days if the entity is a small business stationary source and the corrective action involves a pollution prevention modification;
  • Eliminating the requirement that an entity must notify the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) no fewer than 30 days before beginning an audit, while still requiring submission of a signed statement prior to beginning the audit acknowledging that violations known before the audit are not eligible for coverage; and
  • Requiring the DNR and Department of Justice (DOJ) to consider whether the entity is a small business stationary source that has committed a minor violation when determining whether to pursue criminal action.

Why Enviro-Check?

Enviro-Check is a great option for facilities that want to reduce risks, identify efficiencies, cut costs and improve operations overall. Enviro-Check enables organizations to voluntarily verify their environmental compliance through an audit, self-disclose the findings, and correct violations, if found, with limited liability.

All Wisconsin businesses can participate in the voluntary Enviro-Check program anytime, but it's especially useful when there are changes at a facility, such as staff or management turnover, buying or selling a business, or new processes or regulations. Enviro-Check audits also improve awareness of regulatory requirements and provide strategies to comply with those requirements.

Benefits to your business, include:

  • Limited liability with no or low fines for self-reported and corrected violations;
  • Reduced risks, costs and environmental impacts;
  • Increased efficiencies and improved environmental performance;
  • Confidence for lenders, buyers, supply chains, customers or certification bodies;
  • Peace of mind that you are correctly managing your environmental compliance requirements; and
  • The only cost to participate is associated with hiring a third-party auditor.

Enviro-Check Limited Liability

Not complying with regulations that you are subject to is a risk both monetarily and legally for your facility. By participating in the Enviro-Check program you take control of that risk. Under Enviro-Check, forfeitures are capped at $500 per reported violation regardless of the number of days it has continued. In addition, if a facility is making a good faith effort to return to compliance, the department has flexibility to waive those penalties. In most cases, participants receive no fines if they report and correct violations within 60 days, or within 180 days if the business qualifies as a "small business stationary source," or within another negotiated timeframe.