As described in step 5 of the guidance, a compliance assistance history must be compiled prior to any discussion of EPA response to noncompliance at tribal facilities. Such a history may be contained in inspection reports or other existing documents, or created anew at this point. In any event, the history should account for all contacts among EPA, other government agencies, and the Tribe or facility, in a narrative, table or other usable format, with attachments of necessary documents. What follows is (1) a background and examples of compliance assistance, and (2) a sample of one acceptable format for a compliance assistance history.
1. Background and Examples of Compliance Assistance
Compliance assistance includes a wide array of EPA activities conducted once EPA becomes aware that a facility is not in compliance with federal environmental laws or in response to a request for technical assistance. Where a tribal government is involved, EPA's compliance assistance may include: technical assistance to the tribal government and facility; site visits; training; and providing verbal or written guidance on recommended steps to achieve compliance. With regard to guidance on achieving compliance, EPA should discuss with the tribal government and the facility, a range of specific actions the facility can take that may result in compliance with federal law. EPA does not have the responsibility to specify how compliance is achieved, but it offers expertise and information to tribes to assist them in their choices to come into compliance. The nature of the violation and a range of reasonable options for achieving compliance should be explained in sufficient detail for tribal officials and facility managers to evaluate. Moreover, EPA should explain in clear and understandable terms, what the potential environmental and health consequences are, and discuss potential statutory or regulatory penalty amounts that may be assessed.
Compliance assistance may include, but is not limited to: (Note: face to face communication is generally preferable to other means of communication)
- Technical training, including training provided by the federal government to the facility, the tribal environmental department and/or the tribal leadership and/or other media specific technical assistance documents (TAD's), brochures, videos, training manuals, or any other technical training that might be recommended by EPA.
- Communication among EPA and the facility, the tribal environmental department and/or tribal leadership that clearly spells out specific actions that may help the facility to comply with federal law. First the problems at the facility need to be specifically identified, then EPA may suggest a range of options, including cost and contractor information, and any schedules for compliance assistance and/or compliance.
- Any communication between EPA and the facility, the tribal environmental department and/or the tribal leadership that informs the facility of reasonable options for achieving compliance. (These need to be explained in clear and understandable terms and in sufficient detail for those involved to understand and evaluate).
- On-site demonstrations specifically designed to assist the facility in achieving compliance.
- Any compliance agreement that does not provide for penalties nor constitute a consent order, which provides the steps necessary to bring a facility into compliance.
- Examples of pertinent forms, standard operating procedures, or issued permits.
- Assistance with applications for permits that are necessary to bring the facility into compliance.
2. Sample Compliance Assistance History
The example below is a sample of one acceptable format.
Compliance Assistance History
(Date of report)
Present Facility Contact:
Present Tribal Contact:
History of Regulatory Contacts Regarding the _______ Facility (_________ Tribe)
Anonymous phone complaint
(received by NAME)
|1. Phone memo of that date.|
EPA inspection scheduling call (NAMES OF
(EPA STAFF ON CALL)
|(NAME OF FACILITY STAFF ON CALL)||2. File log.|
EPA sampling/inspection confirms 100 drums
of cyanide, unmarked, open tops, etc.
(NAME OF EPA INSPECTORS)
|Participates in inspection (NAME OF FACILITY REP)||3. Inspection report dated 5/10/00|
|4/23||Inspection report sent to Tribe and facility (NAME)||3.5. Cover letter|
|4/26||EPA provides on-site technical assistance by [DESCRIBE OR ATTACH DESCRIPTION OF NATURE OF HELP (NAME)]||Name of staff present.|
|4/28||Facility manager attends EPA-sponsored hazardous waste training.|
|4/30||Call to EPA offering cleanup & asking advice.||4. Notes on call; (NAME;47 pages).|
|5/2||Conference call on cleanup (NAMES)||(NAME)|
|5/15||EPA assists by monitoring cleanup and proper reporting requirements||[NAME]|
|5/30||Tribe writes documenting removal of drums (NAME)||5. Letter|
|6/10||Follow up inspection; soil contamination noted. (NAME)||Tribe joins. (NAME)||6. Report.|