Division of Environmental Quality

Operations Manual

CHAPTER 2 – COMPLIANCE ASSISTANCE VISITS (Revised 05/14)

2.1 Purpose and Overview | 2.2 Conducting the Compliance Assistance Visit | 2.3 Acute Violations or Those Imminently or Immediately Harmful to the Environment or Health

2.1 Purpose and Overview

The compliance assistance visit, or CAV, is an on-site visit with the appropriate representative(s) of a facility.  The CAV is intended to improve the understanding of a permit, registration, certification, report or other similar requirement. The CAV provides an opportunity to enhance environmental compliance with the regulations and provides a resource for assistance.

The CAV differs from a compliance inspection in that it is voluntary and is focused on providing assistance rather than solely checking for compliance. A permit holder can request a compliance assistance visit online at http://dnr.mo.gov/cav/compliance.htm.

The CAV inspector provides relevant guidance documents and other helpful information to the facility representative. Training about required sampling, recordkeeping, operations, and maintenance should be included if appropriate. Acceptable reduced regulatory requirements, e.g. operating as a small rather than a large quantity hazardous waste generator, may be discussed and suggested. Areas where the facility has good performance as well as areas of concern are noted during the CAV.

The goal of a CAV is to obtain timely, voluntary, and long-term compliance. No enforcement will be initiated during a CAV unless acute violations, as defined in section 2.3, are discovered at the facility. In general, an acute violation is one that is immediately or imminently harmful to human health or the environment.  Any other violations are to be noted during the CAV and discussed with the facility representative.  If (non-acute) violations are documented, the CAV inspector will provide the facility a date by which all violations should be corrected.  Department staff will then require a written report from the facility or conduct a follow-up visit within a short timeframe (i.e., 30 to 60 days) to verify the violations have been adequately addressed. 

The following list is not all-inclusive, but contains some examples of when a facility may request a CAV:

 

Overview of the Parameters for CAVs

  1. CAVs are voluntary for the facility/permitee.
  2. CAVs will be requested by the facility staff primarily. 
  3. The opportunity for CAVs will be presented on the department website and communicated to industry groups or associations.  An offer for a CAV will be mentioned in new permit cover letters.
  4. Regional offices will not be given a target number or minimum number of CAVs to complete. 
  5. CAVs may be conducted by any Department staff, but will be primarily conducted by regional office inspectors or trainers (i.e.,water specialists).
  6. CAVs will be done for new permittees or if there is a major change at a facility, such as, but not limited to:
    1. New staff or operator at the facility
    2. New or modified equipment in the facility
    3. Permit changes
  7. CAVs can be conducted to cover the whole facility and all media, especially for cases involving a new industry or similar situations.  More commonly CAVs will be conducted for part of the operation or plant, or may relate to only one media.
  8. The CAV will consist of an on-site visit, entry and exit discussions with the facility staff, and a written report (or form) on observations and recommendations sent to the facility staff.
  9. The facility will receive a report on the CAV.  If issues are found, the letter accompanying the report will require a response within a specified time period.
  10.  No enforcement action will be taken based on a CAV. 
  11.  Discovery of acute violations will end the CAV and staff will invoke inspection/enforcement authority. 

 

2.2 Conducting the Compliance Assistance Visit

CAV Notification Process

Department permit writers will include an offer for a CAV and a brief explanation in cover letters or letters of transmittal.  This includes letters for all new permits, permits with major modifications or changes in sampling or other compliance requirements, or in correspondence to new owners or operators.

Once a CAV has been requested, department staff will contact the facility to schedule a visit within 30 days. 

Preparing for the CAV

Conducting the CAV

Entrance meeting

On-site observations or walk-through

Exit Meeting

Discovery of an Acute Violation during the CAV

 

Follow-up Actions

The observations made during the CAV can help set future inspection schedules. If a facility has many areas of concern, a follow-up inspection should be scheduled fairly soon. If the facility meets all or most permit requirements, then perhaps the next inspection can be later than usually scheduled.

 

2.3 Acute Violations or Those Imminently or Immediately Harmful to the Environment or Health

Air Pollution

Drinking Water

Hazardous Waste

Land Reclamation

Open Pit Mines:

In-Stream Sand and Gravel:

Solid Waste-acute if these occur at a permitted landfill or processing facility

Water Pollution