The Duties and Ethics of an Environmental Auditor

As an environmental auditor, what are your responsibilities if you find violations that pose imminent danger to public health or the environment? Do you tell your client right away about your findings and tell your client to cease the practice and report to the agencies? What if your client refuses to report to the agencies? What if your clietn refuses to stop the illegal practice that is causing imminent danger to the public?

What are your responsibilities? Can you hide behind the confidentiality clause in your retainer agreement with your client? What about the joint and several liabilities in most environmental laws? Are you in legal jeopardy if you ignore the imminent dangers?

These are all very interesting questions that are being raised in a discussion group in Linkedin.

My take is that faced with an imminent danger to pubic health, you have a duty to tell your client to cease its practice immediately and report to the appropriate agencies. And if the client refuses to heed your advice, you have a duty to “turn him in” given the imminent harm nature.

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