Promoting Incentives for Environmental Self-Policing: Environmental Audits
"Globes" Israel's Business Newspaper
Tzvi Levinson and Gil Dror, Adv.
The Israeli Ministry of the Environment currently provides no rewards to Israeli companies that monitor their environmental compliance through self-environmental audits. Instead, if an Israeli company discovers a problem with its environmental self-compliance, it must turn over that information to the Israeli Ministry for the Environment and it might be penalized according to the nature of the violation. This article argues for the adoption of the environmental safe-harbor provisions in place in the United States, whereby a company whose environmental audit discovers a problem that is then remedied is immune from enforcement actions by the state and federal governments arising out of that violation. With the adoption of such a safe-harbor provision for environmental audits, Israeli companies would have incentive to police their own environmental compliance, without fear of penalty. Currently, however, an Israeli company has great disincentives to engage in environmental audits, under a system where no good audit goes unpunished.