Environmental law and the EPA: What is the NEIC?

When it comes to running certain businesses, whether here in Tennessee or elsewhere, complying with certain rules and regulations is just part of it. For particular companies, this may include environmental law. Understanding how the Environmental Protection Agency conducts its civil and criminal investigations could help prepare a company for what may happen if an investigation is opened against it. One aspect of any investigation is the analysis of evidence.

This duty falls to the National Enforcement Investigations Center, which does all of the forensic analysis needed by the EPA during its investigations. The laboratory is a fully accredited ISO/ICE 17025 forensics lab. In addition to analyzing forensic evidence, its primary duties include providing engineering evaluations, gathering data and providing data that is legally defensible.

Agents may also serve as expert witnesses for cases that go to court. This makes it imperative that any company under investigation by the EPA to know what the NEIC does and how it could end up a part of the investigation. The laboratory employs toxicologists, chemists and statisticians, among others. The analyses provided could make or break a case against a Tennessee company.

If a company discovers it is under investigation by the EPA for environmental law violations, it would be a good idea to secure the advice and assistance of an attorney as soon as possible. It may be possible to keep up with the investigation in real time and receive reports regarding any forensic analyses done by NEIC quickly. Having this information before the investigation goes any further could help in determining the course of action that will bring out the best possible resolution to the matter.

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