Oil and gas producers that choose to report past environmental violations at drilling sites, and related assets that they acquire, may dodge penalties under an audit program that the EPA plans to expand.

The Environmental Protection Agency would build upon a self-audit program that has been in place since 2008 to foster compliance and reward companies that do make an effort to meet environmental laws, Patrick Traylor, deputy assistant EPA administrator for enforcement and compliance assurance, told the Environmental Council of the States during a March 20 panel discussion on encouraging oil and gas compliance in St. Paul,...