EPA's website defines it as assuring compliance through effective monitoring and assessment.
Compliance monitoring is one of the key components the Agency uses to protect human health and the environment by ensuring that the regulated community obeys environmental laws/regulations through on-site visits by qualified inspectors, and a review of the information EPA or a state/tribe requires to be submitted. EPA also promotes compliance incentives and auditing to encourage facilities to find and disclose violations to the Agency. Violations may also be discovered from tips/complaints received by the Agency from the public. Violations discovered as a result of any of these activities may lead to civil enforcement or criminal enforcement. The Agency also provides compliance assistance to the regulated community to help them understand their requirements and to minimize or prevent violations from occurring at regulated facilities