September 28, 2010

Central Europe and US Exchange on Environmental Compliance

Central Europe Study Tour Participants During a Workshop at the US Forest Service

INECE, in cooperation with the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Czech Environmental Inspectorate, is coordinating a two-phase joint project on environmental inspections and enforcement with participants from the Visegrad Group countries of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia (V4).  In the first phase, participants from the V4 countries traveled to the United States on 20-25 September 2010. The second phase will take place on 18-21 October 2010 when U.S. experts will travel to Prague, Czech Republic, for a second workshop going into greater depth on key issues.

During the week in Washington, the participants experienced a series of seminars, workshops, and briefings to exchange information and ideas on compliance and enforcement aspects of pollution control and of natural resource management.

On the pollution side, topics included pollution-control mechanisms; compliance promotion and assistance  programs; management of hazardous waste operations; contaminated site remediation; and program performance measures, analysis, and planning. The study tour group participated in a site visit to one of the largest wastewater treatment plants in the country, as well as visiting a landfill with a waste-to-energy incinerator.

On the natural resources side, topics included an overview of national parks law enforcement and protection issues and specific law enforcement issue areas, such as wilderness and specially protected areas, officer training, timber theft, and off-road vehicle use. The V4 study tour participants were invited to a site visit at Shenandoah National Park hosted by the US Forest Service and National Park Service.

Exchange participants also had the opportunity to work through the common skills needed for environmental compliance inspections where a determination of the facility’s compliance status is required, collaborating with experts and US inspectors through the US EPA Environmental Compliance Inspections course.


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