(A) "Environmental audit" means a voluntary, thorough, and discrete self-evaluation of one or more activities at one or more facilities or properties that is documented; is designed to improve compliance, or identify, correct, or prevent noncompliance, with environmental laws; and is conducted by the owner or operator of a facility or property or the owner's or operator's employee or independent contractor. An environmental audit may be conducted by the owner or operator of a facility or property, the owner's or operator's employees, or independent contractors. Once initiated, an audit shall be completed within a reasonable time, not to exceed six months, unless a written request for an extension is approved by the head officer of the governmental agency, or division or office thereof, with jurisdiction over the activities being audited based on a showing of reasonable grounds. An audit shall not be considered to be initiated until the owner or operator or the owner's or operator's employee or independent contractor actively has begun the self-evaluation of environmental compliance.
(B) "Activity" means any process, procedure, or function that is subject to environmental laws.
(C) "Voluntary" means, with respect to an environmental audit of a particular activity, that both of the following apply when the audit of that activity commences:
(1) The audit is not required by law, prior litigation, or an order by a court or a government agency;
(2) The owner or operator who conducts the audit does not know or have reason to know that a government agency has commenced an investigation or enforcement action that concerns a violation of environmental laws involving the activity or that such an investigation or enforcement action is imminent.
(D) "Environmental audit report" means interim or final data, documents, records, or plans that are necessary to an environmental audit and are collected, developed, made, and maintained in good faith as part of the audit, and may include, without limitation:
(1) Analytical data, laboratory reports, field notes and records of observations, findings, opinions, suggestions, conclusions, drafts, memoranda, drawings, photographs, computer-generated or electronically recorded information, maps, charts, graphs, and surveys;
(2) Reports that describe the scope, objectives, and methods of the environmental audit, audit management policies, the information gained by the environmental audit, and conclusions and recommendations together with exhibits and appendices;
(3) Memoranda, documents, records, and plans analyzing the environmental audit report or discussing implementation, prevention, compliance, and remediation issues associated with the environmental audit.
"Environmental audit report" does not mean corrective or remedial action taken pursuant to an environmental audit.
(E) "Environmental laws" means sections 939.02 and 1531.29, Chapters 3704., 3734., 3745., 3746., 3750., 3751., 3752., 6109., and 6111. of the Revised Code, and any other sections or chapters of the Revised Code the principal purpose of which is environmental protection; any federal or local counterparts or extensions of those sections or chapters; rules adopted under any such sections, chapters, counterparts, or extensions; and terms and conditions of orders, permits, licenses, license renewals, variances, exemptions, or plan approvals issued under such sections, chapters, counterparts, or extensions.
Amended by 131st General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 64, §101.01, eff. 1/1/2016.
Effective Date: 09-30-1998 .