EPA uses different tools and powers to support, guide and direct duty holders to meet their obligations. As well as our role in ensuring compliance through remedial instruments and sanctions, we may:  

  • write guidance, compliance codes and Regulations on how to comply with duties  
  • produce standards that set a benchmark for compliance or our interpretation of the law
  • use innovative instruments to drive high standards of environmental protection and collaboration
  • respond to complex environment protection issues through administrative tools.

Our General standards policy (publication 1983) provides an overview of these instruments and tools and the high-level approach to developing and using the best one to address a problem.

Many of these tools are issued in line with our Compliance and enforcement policy (publication 1798) and regulatory approach. Others are for complex and emerging environmental challenges and will be explored over time.

Read more about EPA's compliance and directions

Reviewed 30 June 2021