Inspections and Evaluations
Self-Evaluation Tools and other Incentives provide tools, such as Audit Protocols and environmental screening checklists and workbooks, that industry, business, or government officials can use to evaluate their own compliance with federal environmental regulations. They can be found at Compliance Incentives and Auditing and Compliance Assistance.
To find out more about Inspections by statute:
- Clean Air Act
- Clean Water Act
- Emergency Protection and Community Right-to-know Act
- Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act
- Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act
- Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
- Safe Drinking Water Act
- Toxic Substances Control Act
Inspections are visits to a facility or site (e.g., business, school, landfill) for the purpose of gathering information to determine whether it is in compliance. 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, and
- observing facility or site operations.
Inspections are usually conducted on a single-media programs such as the Clean Water Act, but can be conducted for more than one media program. Inspections also can 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 ecosystem-based approach (e.g., air or watershed).
Clean Air Act Evaluations can be either a Full Compliance Evaluation (FCE) or a Partial Compliance Evaluation (PCE). An FCE is a comprehensive evaluation of the compliance status of the facility. It looks for all regulated pollutants at all regulated emission units, and it addresses the compliance status of each unit, as well as the facility’s continuing ability to maintain compliance at each emission unit. An FCE includes:
- a review of all required reports and the underlying records;
- an assessment of air pollution control devices and operating conditions;
- observing visible emissions; a review of facility records and operating logs;
- an assessment of process parameters, such as feed rates, raw material compositions, and process rates; and
- a stack test if there is no other way to determine compliance with the emission limits.
An FCE may be accomplished through a series of Partial Compliance Evaluations.
A PCE is a documented compliance assessment focusing on a subset of regulated pollutants, regulatory requirements, or emission units at a given facility. A PCE should be more comprehensive than a cursory review of individual reports. It may be conducted solely for the purpose of evaluating a specific aspect of a facility or it may combine several evaluations to satisfy the annual requirements of a FCE.