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

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:

  • Issuance of a new or modified permit, registration or certification.
  • Permit reissuance.
  • Changes in permit sampling parameters.
  • Transfers of ownership.
  • Change in manager, operator or other key persons at a facility.
  • Significant changes in operational status, e.g., moving from small to large quantity hazardous waste generator.
  • Completing paperwork requirements, e.g., Emissions Inventory Questionnaire, Discharge Monitoring Reports, and Bacti Sampling Cards.
  • Drilling or installing a new drinking water well.
  • Potential new applicant for an environmental permit, registration or certificate.
  • Regarding the permitting, operation or relocation of an air curtain destructor.


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

  • Review permit/registration/certification documents.
  • Gather relevant technical bulletins and other information to leave with the facility representative, including an example of an inspection checklist, if one exists.
  • Locate the facility.
  • Fill in as much information as possible in any documents used.
  • Prepare any equipment (ie.g., camera or PC) that may be needed.
  • Take the contact’s phone number with you, so you can call in case you are delayed.

Conducting the CAV

While conducting a CAV or after conducting a CAV, complete the CAV  form   Attach any photos taken or documents pertaining to the CAV to the form.  The form will be included in the facility file.    

Entrance meeting

  • Provide a business card or state I.D.
  • Describe the purpose and scope of the visit.
  • Describe the response if an acute violation is found during the visit, and provide examples of an acute violation. If asked, provide the list of acute violations. 
  • Review the permit, registration, or certification with the facility representative. Explain expectations of environmental compliance, seek understanding and answer questions related to applicable permits, registrations or certifications.
  • Explain any recordkeeping requirements.
  • Explain that any violations observed will need to be corrected by a certain timeframe.  Also, correction of any violations will need to be verified by either another visit or submission of adequate documentation by the facility.

On-site observations or walk-through

  • Explain monitoring or sampling techniques.
  • Provide assistance on operation and maintenance.
  • Point out and explain areas of compliance and review best management practices.
  • Use applicable inspection checklists or take field notes to record any information.  Since a CAV often will not include observation of every item on our checklists, the entire checklist does not need to be used and filled in.  On items not observed, staff may note “not observed,” “N/A,” or leave the checklist blank for those items. 
  • Discuss options for possible reduced level of compliance requirements, .e.g., small vs. large quantity generator.

Exit Meeting

  • Provide your contact information to the facility representative.
  • Provide technical bulletins or other information.
  • Review findings, including good conditions and any concerns.
  • Review information recorded on checklists or notes.
  • Reiterate that any violations observed will need to be corrected by a certain timeframe.  Also, correction of any violations will need to be verified by a follow-up visit or submission of adequate documentation by the facility.  Advise facility they will receive a written summary of the visit.
  • Encourage contact with the department with questions or to discuss problems.
  • Describe what to expect during a future inspection. If available, leave a blank inspection checklist. Explain how the checklist is used during an inspection.
  • Thank the facility representative.

Discovery of an Acute Violation during the CAV

  • Immediately inform the facility representative of the violation.  Explain the severity of the violation and invoke inspection authority.  Proceed with inspection in accordance with Inspection and Enforcement procedures.
  • If a hazardous substance release is observed or suspected, inform the potentially responsible party of their reporting requirements and call the Environmental Emergency Response Section spill reporting line (573-634-2436).
  • Use all necessary equipment to document violations, e.g., a camera or environmental sampling equipment, etc.


Follow-up Actions

  • Complete an ACE form for data entry.
  • Gather and provide any information requested by the facility representative.  This information, correspondence with recommendations and/or a copy of any checklist, if used, should be provided to the facility within 30 days.
  • Place CAV documents in the facility file.
  • Schedule a follow-up or a comprehensive inspection in the near future as necessary.

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

  • Open burning of trade waste that poses an immediate threat or is in a dangerous location.
  • Operation of a major facility without a permit, i.e., Intermediate/P70 or PSD.
  • Releases of hazardous materials or substances not allowed by law. Releases of hazardous air pollutants, criteria air pollutants, or precursor air pollutants.
  • Demolition or renovation of a regulated structure without inspecting for asbestos.

Drinking Water

  • Any condition or practice that poses an immediate and serious threat to public health.

Hazardous Waste

  • Visible evidence that hazardous waste is released onto the ground (soil).
  • Hazardous waste is released to waters of the state.
  • Hazardous waste is burned on-site.
  • Ignition source is in area that stores ignitability characteristic hazardous waste.
  • Incompatible hazardous wastes are stored in the same container, tank or secondary containment structure, or hazardous wastes are not compatible with the containers that hold them.
  • Failing to operate/maintain the facility in a manner to prevent releases of hazardous waste.
  • Hazardous waste containers are leaking or in poor condition.

Land Reclamation

Open Pit Mines:

  • Mining within 50' of a public road right of way or 25' + 1.5 the depth of unconsolidated material adjacent to the road right of way.
  • Depositing sediment off of the permit area.
  • Failure to construct water impoundment dams of over 35' in height to Missouri Dam and Reservoir Safety Program standards per 10 CSR 22-3.020.
  • Discharging acid water from the permit area, pH <6.0.

In-Stream Sand and Gravel:

  • Mining well below water line.
  • Removal of woody vegetation greater than 1.5 inches in diameter at breast height.
  • Failure to maintain 10-foot buffer between area of excavation and flowing water line.
  • Pushing gravel against the stream bank unless authorized by state or federal permit.

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

  • Burning of solid waste or tires.
  • Leachate leaving property or entering the waters of the state.
  • Illegal storage or disposal of infectious waste.
  • Landfill or transfer station receiving or accepting hazardous waste.
  • Putrescible waste on transfer station floor more than 24 hours.

Water Pollution

  • Operating or discharging without a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit, including if the facility’s NPDES permit is expired and they have failed to submit a renewal application.
  • Any violation of Water Quality Standards general or specific criteria, including fish kills.
  • History of noncompliance, i.e., significant noncompliance with any monitoring or reporting requirements.