Recordkeeping in the United States

Recordkeeping in Environmental Law

The requirement that regulated businesses and persons collect information and keep records has become a major component of environmental law. Permittees must monitor their own compliance, submit records to the agencies that granted their permits, and keep copies of all documentation.

Underground storage tanks, for example, are highly regulated. From the time they are installed, the owner or operator must maintain records such as permits, documentation on the installation of the tank, specific data on its construction, test results, and financial responsibility information. When a tank is taken out of service, records about the removal, site characterization, and cleanup must be kept.

Hazardous materials are also highly regulated. Records are required for receipt of hazardous chemicals in the workplace, shipping of hazardous materials, and disposal and transportation of hazardous waste. Not all pollutants are considered hazardous or toxic, but those pollutants, such as total suspended solids, can overload the receiving waters when they are discharged from treatment plants. Therefore, even though the discharge is not considered a toxic water pollutant, a limit will be placed on the amount of total suspended solids the plant may discharge, and it will have to monitor, report, and keep the records associated with the discharge.

Many environmental and health statutes require training for employees. When they do, government agencies expect some type of proof that the training has been completed. Generally, the employer can document the training by keeping a copy of the materials used along with a list of the persons who attended the training program.

Although recordkeeping may seem unimportant in the overall scheme of environmental protection, it is an important tool in enforcement. Business records can be used by the government to prove violations. If they are falsified, the person or business creating them can be criminally liable. Also, failure to keep the records may be a violation in itself.
Based on “Environment and the Law. A Dictionary”.

Recordkeeping (Governmental Information)

This section introduces, discusses and describes the basics of recordkeeping . Then, cross references and a brief overview about Governmental Information is provided. Finally, the subject of Administrative Law in relation with recordkeeping is examined. Note that a list of cross references, bibliography and other resources appears at the end of this entry.

Recordkeeping: Open and Free Legal Research of US Law

Federal Primary Materials

The U.S. federal government system consists of executive, legislative, and judicial branches, each of which creates information that can be the subject of legal research about Recordkeeping. This part provides references, in relation to Recordkeeping, to the legislative process, the federal judiciary, and the primary sources of federal law (cases, statutes, and regulations).

Federal primary materials about Recordkeeping by content types:

Laws and Regulations

US Constitution
Federal Statutory Codes and Legislation

Federal Case Law and Court Materials

U.S. Courts of Appeals
United States courts of appeals, inclouding bankruptcy courts and bankcruptcy appellate panels:

Federal Administrative Materials and Resources

Presidential Materials

Materials that emanate from the President’s lawmaking function include executive orders for officers in departments and agencies and proclamations for announcing ceremonial or commemorative policies. Presidential materials available include:

Executive Materials

Federal Legislative History Materials

Legislative history traces the legislative process of a particular bill (about Recordkeeping and other subjects) for the main purpose of determining the legislators’ intent behind the enactment of a law to explain or clarify ambiguities in the language or the perceived meaning of that law (about Recordkeeping or other topics), or locating the current status of a bill and monitoring its progress.

State Administrative Materials and Resources

State regulations are rules and procedures promulgated by state agencies (which may apply to Recordkeeping and other topics); they are a binding source of law. In addition to promulgating regulations, state administrative boards and agencies often have judicial or quasi-judicial authority and may issue administrative decisions affecting Recordkeeping. Finding these decisions can be challenging. In many cases, researchers about Recordkeeping should check state agency web sites for their regulations, decisions, forms, and other information of interest.

State rules and regulations are found in codes of regulations and administrative codes (official compilation of all rules and regulations, organized by subject matter). Search here:

State opinions of the Attorney General (official written advisory opinions on issues of state law related to Recordkeeping when formerly requested by a designated government officer):

Tools and Forms

Law in Other Regions

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