Division of Environmental Quality

Operations Manual

CHAPTER 2 – ENVIRONMENTAL ASSISTANCE VISITS (Revised 09/11)

2.1 Purpose and Overview | 2.2 Conducting the Environmental Assistance Visit | 2.3 Significant Noncompliance |
2.4 Acute Violations or Those Imminently or Immediately Harmful to the Environment or Health |
2.5 Regulatory Terms and Definitions | 2.6 EAV Form

2.1 Purpose and Overview

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

The EAV differs from a compliance inspection in that it is voluntary and is focused on providing assistance rather than solely checking for compliance.

The EAV 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 may be discussed and suggested, i.e., steps that can be taken to operate as a small rather than a large quantity hazardous waste generator. Areas where the facility has good performance as well as areas of concern are noted during the EAV.

The goal of an EAV is to obtain timely, voluntary, and long-term compliance. No enforcement will be initiated during an EAV 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. Significant non-acute violations, as defined in section 2.3, are to be noted on the EAV form and explained to the facility representative.

The following list (not all-inclusive) contains examples of types of EAVs:

2.2 Conducting the Environmental Assistance Visit

EAV Notification Process
Since the EAV is voluntary it is preferable to contact the facility representative prior to your visit to set up an appointment. EAVs may also be performed unannounced (cold calls) to effectively use available time and travel opportunities. If the facility representative declines, be sure to document the decline in the Permit Tracking System, or PTS.

Making the Phone Call to Offer the EAV

Preparing for the EAV

Conducting the EAV
Entrance meeting:

On-site observations or walk-through:

Exit Meeting:

Discovery of an Acute Violation During the EAV

Discovery of a Non-acute Significant Violation

Follow-up Actions

The observations made during the EAV can help set the 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 Significant Noncompliance

Air Pollution

* Chronic or recalcitrant violator refers to a source that may stay below the HPV threshold but continually violates requirements to the extent that it is mutually agreed by the Region and the delegated agency that the source should be bumped up into HPV status.

Drinking Water

Hazardous Waste

Land Reclamation
When our staff personally encounters an active in-stream sand and gravel mining operation which is damaging a stream or creating a negative water quality impact by:

Solid Waste
Unpermitted Facilities:

Permitted Facilities:

Waste Tire Issues
Unpermitted Facilities:

Permitted Facilities:

Water Pollution

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

Air Pollution

Drinking Water

Hazardous Waste

Land Reclamation
Open Pit Mines:

Solid Waste

Water Pollution

2.5 Regulatory Terms and Definitions

Application

Permit

Environmental Assistance Visit

Compliance or Technical Assistance

Inspection

Compliance

Noncompliance

Minor or moderate noncompliance {such as Class 2 violations (HWP) or not significant violations (WP)} indicates a violation of regulatory requirements and a need for improvement. Each program may either define what minor or moderate noncompliance is, or by default include everything as minor or moderate noncompliance that is not a significant noncompliance item. Each program also defines the follow-up that can range from no further action to a repeat inspection. The actions will have a defined term, so that the violations are either addressed or, if not, elevated to a Notice of Violation due to the chronic nature of violation or recalcitrance on the part of the facility.

For minor or moderate noncompliance, the facility is not complying with regulatory requirements, however neither the health and safety of Missourians nor Missouri’s environment are negatively impacted to a significant degree.

Tools that can be used to document minor or moderate noncompliance include letters of warning, simple letters, checklists, inspection reports or Illegal Dumping Investigation Reports.

Significant noncompliance {such as high priority violations or Class 1 (HWP)} reflects a violation of regulatory requirements where either the health and safety of Missourians or Missouri’s environment is or will be negatively impacted to a significant degree.

If minor or moderate noncompliance situations become chronic, excessive in number, due to recalcitrance on the part of the facility, or are immediate or imminently harmful, those together can indicate significant noncompliance.

Issuance of a NOV can result only from a case of significant noncompliance. There is always follow-up for significant noncompliance and coordination between the regional office and environmental program(s). Each program will define significant noncompliance and the possible follow-up.

Acute noncompliance reflects those acute violations that are immediately or imminently harmful to the environmental or human health. They are to be defined by the appropriate environmental program. All acute violations also reflect significant noncompliance. If an acute violation is found during an Environmental Assistance Visit, the inspector informs the facility of the violation, the EAV is ended, and the inspector conducts a compliance inspection issuing an NOV for the acute violation.

Conference, conciliation and persuasion, or CC&P

Violation

Notice of Violation, or NOV

Enforcement

Enforcement Review Board

Referral

2.6 EAV Form

The form is located in Lotus Notes. Staff must have EUS staff connect them to the form so that is can be entered, routed to supervisor for approval where it then automatically goes into ACE.