It’s a sunny Friday afternoon and you’re at your desk looking forward to your weekend plans when you get a call from security: Government inspectors are at the front gate and want to perform an inspection of the facility — right now. What do you do?
Thankfully, as a result of careful planning, your weekend is not ruined. You reach into your desk drawer, pull out your inspection kit and the checklist below — which you are quite familiar with, having already completed the pre-inspection planning — and stroll confidently out to greet your visitors. Here’s a PDF copy of the checklist, if you’d like to have it on hand.
To effectively manage a government inspection, it is important to remain calm and maintain control of the process. Representatives of the company should be cooperative and courteous, but not allow the government inspectors to exceed their authority and the scope of the inspection. Legal counsel should be involved at the earliest opportunity. Any statements made to the inspectors can, and likely will be, documented by the government inspectors and later used in their report or in an enforcement action. Finally, above all else, all management, staff and employees should be truthful — to do otherwise may result in criminal liability or enhanced civil enforcement.
This article is not intended to provide legal advice. Please consult an attorney to advise you whether these ideas might help your particular situation.
If you have questions regarding this checklist or environmental inspections generally, please contact Ryan Russell Kemper in Thompson Coburn’s environmental practice area.
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