Are US Federal regulatory agencies requires to report violations outside their jurisdiction to other appropriate Federal regulatory agencies?

Let's say, for instance, OSHA raided your factory and found several occupational violations such as insufficient and inadequate personal safety equipment. One inspector notices your factory is also dumping toxic chemicals into a nearby stream. Although dumping toxic chemicals is not an occupational safety issue, is he or she required to report it to the EPA?


Are regulatory agencies required to report issues outside of their jurisdiction to other appropriate agencies?

In the case of OSHA and EPA, the agencies at times work together, other times separately. Both cases are shown in the quoted material below.

Note that in paragraph 2, inspectors of each agency working separately will make referrals to the other agency.

It is not clear that it would, or could, apply to all agencies because recognizing violations of other agencies regulations requires cross-training. OSHA and EPA inspectors have such a training program.

Memorandum of Understanding between The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration and The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Enforcement

III. General Operating Procedures For Interagency Activity


  1. EPA and OSHA may conduct joint inspections as necessary to carry out the legislative purposes of the respective statutory authorities. Such inspections may be in accordance with an annual workplan which is developed by the two agencies and identifies areas for joint initiatives. Such inspections may also be scheduled on an ad hoc basis such as in investigations following accidents or fatalities or injuries to workers resulting from reported activities or situations subject to either EPA OR OSHA jurisdiction.

  2. EPA and OSHA inspectors, in the course of conducting separate inspections, may discover situations involving potential violations of the other agency's laws or regulations. In those instances, referrals to the appropriate office will be undertaken as described below.

  • I think the question wants a general answer. How about if OSHA discovers you're running a pirate radio station?
    – user253751
    Jun 29 at 11:55
  • @user253751 - I mention that in my third paragraph when I referred to "cross-training." If another agency's regulations are not clearly understood by an inspector, there could be any number of false referrals that would, or could, be a waste of time and resources. If an inspector sees anything outside their agency's authority, they could report the issue; but that would not be "agencies required to report."
    – Rick Smith
    Jun 29 at 12:27
  • @RickSmith That's the reason I asked the question. Although not necessarily an agency, I heard that the IRS won't rat on you (unless they have a court order) if you report income from illegal drug distribution. I
    – ATL_DEV
    Jun 29 at 14:46
  • @RickSmith In the case of OSHA and EPA, I would expect a inspector who, for instance, specializes in toxicology, to know dumping toxic chemicals is illegal and knows how to at least identify it. Could an inspector who looked the other way be punished for telling the EPA? Probably, but it would be hard to prove he or she had knowledge of it. On the other had, if they took pictures of the site and there was a barrels labels KCN next to the stream, it would be pretty hard to back out of that one.
    – ATL_DEV
    Jun 29 at 14:56

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