Federal Facilities Monitoring
Federal facilities, like all other regulated facilities, are responsible for complying with environmental requirements. EPA monitors compliance by federal facilities to assure they obey environmental laws and regulations through on-site inspections and reviewing information that EPA, states and tribes require to be submitted.
Compliance InformationCompliance information on federal facilities is available through:
- ECHO (Enforcement and Compliance History Online) is a database of inspection, violation, and enforcement information for the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, and hazardous waste laws. ECHO provides data for approximately 800,000 regulated facilities—including thousands of federal facilities. Federal agencies should be familiar with ECHO since anyone can use it to check the compliance status of federal facilities.
- OTIS (Online Compliance Tracking System) is a database of regulated facility information available only to state, tribal and local governments and federal agencies. Federal agencies can improve their compliance by using OTIS to check the compliance status of particular facilities, track compliance by agencies and compare compliance between agencies.
- Federal Facilities Accomplishments Reports include detailed analyses on trends in compliance across federal agencies. Agencies can use these reports to ensure they focus their resources and management attention on important areas.
EPA and its regulatory partners (e.g., states and tribes) conduct inspections under the majority of statutory and regulatory programs.
Inspections are visits to a facility or site (e.g., a military base, a federal laboratory or a national park) to determine whether it is in compliance with environmental laws and regulations. Inspections generally include pre-inspection activities such as obtaining general site information before entering the facility or site. Other activities that may be conducted during the on-site visit include:
- Interviewing facility or site representatives
- Reviewing records and reports
- Taking photographs
- Collecting samples
- Observing facility or site operations
Inspections can be conducted on a single-media program (e.g. Clean Water Act) or for more than one media program. They can also be conducted to address a specific environmental problem (e.g., water quality in a river), a facility or industry sector (e.g., chemical plants), or a geographic (e.g., a region or locality) or an ecosystem (e.g., air or watershed).
For more information see: Federal Facilities Inspections: A guide to EPA's access and inspection authorities (PDF) (2 pp, 104K About PDF).
As required by Executive Order 13148, federal agencies should have environmental management systems at appropriate facilities. (See EPA policy "Providing EMS-Related Compliance Assistance During Federal Facility Inspections (PDF)" (6 pp, 207K About PDF).
- Inspections and Evaluations - general information on EPA's compliance monitoring and inspection programs.
- FedCenter - an interagency environmental compliance and assistance web site for federal agencies