EPA's Compliance Monitoring program assures compliance by the regulated community with environmental laws and regulations through inspections, field monitoring, and other investigations. EPA provides compliance monitoring information by programs, as well as on inspections, and self-evaluation tools.
Individuals applying pesticides must do so in a manner not only consistent with federal laws, but also consistent with state laws and regulations which differ from state to state. In general, states have primary authority for compliance monitoring and enforcing against use of pesticides in violation of the labeling requirements. Additionally, the agency with primary responsibility for pesticides differs from state to state. Usually it is a state's department of agriculture, but may be a state's environmental agency or other agency.
Pesticide-specific compliance monitoring information is provided below.
- Background on Compliance Monitoring
- Compliance Monitoring Data
- Self Audits
- Compliance Monitoring Programs
Compliance monitoring consists of a wide range of activities in six basic categories, some of which overlap:
- Surveillance is generally a pre-inspection activity which consists of obtaining general site information prior to actually entering the facility. Examples may include ambient sampling at the property line or observations of activity at the site.
- Inspections (on site) may include record reviews, observations, sampling, interviews, etc., and may be focused on a single regulatory program or several programs, facility or industry sector-based, or have a geographic or ecosystem focus.
- Investigations are generally more comprehensive than inspections and may be warranted when an inspection or record review suggests the potential for serious, widespread, and/or continuing civil or criminal violations.
- Record reviews may be conducted at EPA, state or local offices, or at the facility, and may or may not be combined with fieldwork. Records may be derived from routine self-monitoring requirements, inspection reports, citizen/employee tips, or remote sensing.
- Targeted information gathering may be used to provide or acquire more accurate information on the status of compliance and/or environmental conditions.
- Remediation compliance monitoring of work required by regulation, permit, order, or settlement includes ensuring timely submissions, review of submittals for adequacy, and oversight of remedial activities. Elements of these activities may include sampling, sample analysis, observations, issuance of information requirement letters or subpoenas, and ensuring data quality.
EPA works closely with its regulatory partners in monitoring compliance. States with delegated programs do most compliance monitoring activities within their jurisdictions. EPA's role in compliance monitoring includes:
- Collection and analysis of compliance and enforcement data;
- Program and state grant oversight;
- Responding to citizen complaints;
- Developing policy and legal guidance when questions arise as to the interpretation of Federal environmental laws, regulations, and policies;
- Management and oversight of compliance monitoring enforcement grants to states and tribes;
- Technical assistance to states, tribal, and local governments; and
- Conducting inspections/investigations for:
- Programs not delegated to the states,
- National/Regional priorities, and
- States and tribes, when they request assistance.
EPA's Compliance Monitoring homepage provides access to documents about EPA's compliance monitoring program such as inspection manuals, guides, and strategies for specific regulations or for an industry sector. Furthermore, on this homepage you can find tools and materials that can help a facility check its own compliance.
EPA has several sources of compliance monitoring data. A new system will also be available for public access to compliance and enforcement data in the near future. This system is called Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO), and allows users to view, query, and search selected compliance and enforcement data. Currently, data are available from the following sources:
- National Compliance Data Base System and FIFRA/TSCA Tracking System (NCDB/FTTS), which tracks regional compliance and enforcement activity and supports the management of the Pesticides and Toxic Substances Compliance and Enforcement program at a national level.
- Section 7 Tracking System (SSTS), which includes information about pesticide producing establishments.
- EPA's Good Laboratory Practice Standards (GLPs) compliance monitoring program, through laboratory inspections and data audits, assures the quality and integrity of test data submitted to the Agency under FIFRA and TSCA. These data are used by the Agency to regulate pesticides and industrial chemicals.
- Protocol for Conducting Environmental Compliance Audits under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (PDF) (138 pp, 575k, About PDF ), compliance monitoring and inspection manual for pesticides that aids regulated entities in complying with FIFRA.