Division of Environmental Quality

Operations Manual

CHAPTER 3 – INSPECTIONS

3.4 Water Pollution Inspections (Revised 08/11)

3.4.1 Land Disturbance Sites | 3.4.2 Mechanical Plant Inspections | 3.4.3 Inspection of Lagoon
Wastewater Treatment Systems
| 3.4.4 Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations

3.4.1 Land Disturbance Sites

Overview and Purpose
The purpose of an inspection at a land disturbance site is to determine compliance with permitting requirements and to document any potential or detrimental impacts upon waters of the state. By nature of the work, the most effective and telltale inspections should be conducted during or very shortly after wet weather events. Whenever possible, sites with known problems should be inspected during rainfall events.

Forms

Pre-Inspection Procedures
Obtain available files for the facility or responsible party to review compliance history, if any.

If a permit has been issued, review it prior to arriving at the site. Be certain to take a copy of the permit (and an extra copy for the permittee) at the time of inspection.

Review a topographic map of the area to become familiar with land features and stream locations within the general vicinity of the site.

Review available technical references for constructing and maintaining best management practices such as the department’s Protecting Water Quality - A Construction Site Water Quality Field Guide. Take a copy of this reference with you to leave with the permittee or site operator, as necessary.

Organize and inspect the field equipment that you will take for the inspection. Make sure a recent quality-assurance/quality-control calibration of equipment has been performed.

At a minimum your sampling kit should include: thermometer, pH pen, conductivity pen, dissolved oxygen probe, deionized rinse water bottle, protective gloves, sample transport cooler, ice, and appropriate sampling containers and labels. Review the Environmental Services Program Standard Operating Procedures MDNR–ESP-001 for sample collection. Be prepared to use the Chain-of-Custody sheet MDNR-ESP-002.

Be certain also to take a digital camera and GPS unit for use during the inspection. It is also a good idea to take along appropriate safety equipment including a hard hat, your steel-toed safety boots, and an orange safety vest to increase visibility.

On-site Inspection Procedures
Use the land disturbance checklist to guide you through the site inspection. Upon arrival at the site seek out the facility representative or site operator. Explain the purpose of the inspection or investigation. In most cases it is preferable to conduct a complete site inspection each time you visit a site, whether responding as a result of a complaint or conducting a routine inspection. Land disturbance sites change almost on a daily basis and you must observe the changes to understand the dynamics at work on the site.

If the site is permitted, make certain a copy of the permit is available to the operator at the site. If not, provide the operator with the extra copy you made during your inspection preparations. Ask the operator to present the written stormwater pollution prevention plan for review. The plan must be available at the site. Have the operator go over the plan with you in detail so that you understand the site layout and the best management practices that are being employed. This gives you an opportunity to determine whether or not the operator is familiar with the plan, understands the requirements, and is in fact following the plan. At a minimum, the plan should include a map or drawing that depicts site topography, identifies major land and surface water features and shows the location and construction detail for the best management practices that are to be installed. Often these plans will be prepared by an engineer, although not required. The failure to have a stormwater pollution prevention plan should be viewed as a major deficiency of permit and regulatory requirements.

Prior to completing the paperwork review ask the operator to provide any applicable federal 404 permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers or 401 water certification letter from the department. Also ask to review any written rainfall and site inspection logs kept by the operator.

If the site is not permitted, it is preferable to conduct the physical inspection at the facility followed by a review of all regulatory requirements during the exit interview. You may also explain requirements as you conduct the inspection, if traffic movement and safety conditions at the site allow.

Walk or drive the entire site, as appropriate, observing both areas that have been disturbed and those that soon will be disturbed as part of the construction activities. If a permit as been issued for the site, verify that the land disturbance locations match the site information described on the permit.

Some observations to include are:

Be sure to take pictures as you conduct your inspection, as photos are worth a thousand words and will support your observations. Complete the land disturbance checklist, along with the notes in your field notebook, as you conduct the site tour. A hand-drawn sketch of the site can also be useful, especially later as you write your report. Remember that good documentation is an important part of the inspection process. Be aware that your field notes are subject to Sunshine Law requests and should reflect only professional observations and comments.

Inspection Sampling

Sampling at land disturbance site inspections must occur during or soon after a rainfall event. Therefore, the best time to conduct an inspection at a site with suspected or known problems is during a rainfall. Wet weather observations and sampling will also be beneficial in understanding the site run-off characteristics and hydraulics, perhaps assisting with potential solutions.

Sampling protocol is similar to other water sampling, in that you should obtain a sample upstream of the outfall and a sample below the outfall. It is also best if you can obtain a sample of water both upstream and downstream of the property. This allows for the possibility of determining possible pollutant amounts entering the permitted area from neighboring construction developments. Complex developments may require that you study the area and prepare a written sampling plan. If you require assistance with sampling or with developing a sampling plan you may contact the water quality monitoring section of the Environmental Services Program.

All sampling is to be conducted in accordance with Environmental Services Program DEQ Standard Operating Procedures and recorded on a Chain-of-Custody record (MDNR-ESP-002). The inspector should review MDNR-ESP-005 for additional considerations for obtaining samples.

Post-inspection Procedures
Meet with the facility representative(s) and review both the satisfactory and unsatisfactory features that you saw during the site tour. Explain the required actions, and where appropriate you can provide recommendations to correct simple deficiencies. Be aware that it is the responsibility of the site owner or permittee to design features that will resolve difficult or complex problems.

The exit interview is the appropriate time to provide useful reference material or paperwork that may assist with compliance. Also remember to mention the department’s web site, when appropriate, as a place to obtain additional useful information.

Completing the Written Report
Due to the nature of construction, the conditions at a land disturbance sites change rapidly. Equally as important is to realize that the lack of proper best management practices can cause damage to the environment at the next rain event. This requires that our inspection activities progress at a more rapid pace. Written reports for land disturbance sites must be completed and transmitted to the permittee within 10 business days of the date of the investigation or inspection. Any enforcement response should follow the guidance of the Inspection and Enforcement Manual.

Follow-up
If there are significant deficiencies at a land disturbance site, a follow-up inspection must be conducted within 30 days of the original site inspection. This is especially true if a Notice of Violation has been issued. Repeat the procedures that were prescribed for conducting the initial inspection, being especially careful to document deficiencies that have been corrected, remaining deficiencies and any new problems that may be observed. Again, prepare the written report and transmit to the permittee within 10 business days. If an enforcement referral is warranted follow the procedures of the Inspection and Enforcement Manual.

Appendix

Land Disturbance Cases – a case study and guidance for inspectors
Case Study: State of Missouri v. Spanburg Investments LLC
As a result of a citizen concern, the Department documented that a developer named Spanburg had disturbed 19 acres without a land disturbance permit.  Spanburg subsequently obtained a permit in December 2008.  Improperly installed and maintained best management practices led to continued complaints and investigations

Judges and juries are not scientists.  They do not know how to judge or evaluate environmental harm, so those aspects need to be clearly established.  Based upon the evidence provided in inspection reports, concern reports, witness statements, photographs and sample results, we have to be able to show and convince the average person what the environmental damage is, its impacts and what violations of the law and regulations they have caused.

In this case the judge was influenced by photographs taken by a local official landowner that showed sediment and debris from the Spanburg site during/after a rain event that blocked a roadway.  Although persuasive, the judge still had difficulty understanding how the loss of soil made a significant environmental impact.  The drainage way was intermittent and no loss of aquatic life was documented.  The biggest issue for the judge was HOW MUCH sediment left the defendant's property and how much is enough to cause harm to a water body

The developer was referred to Enforcement in June 2009.  Spanburg's recalcitrance led to referral to the AGO in September 2009.  Civil trial occurred in September 2012.  The Court's Judgment was for a $14,000 penalty, of which $10,000 was suspended contingent upon stabilizing the site in accord with a schedule contained in the judgment.

Developing a Land Disturbance case
Talk with neighbors and get any descriptions/photos that they may have.  Ask if they would be willing to document future events with pictures or notes.  Photographs taken by complainants are admissible, however, the person who took the photograph may have to provide an affidavit as to their authenticity or be willing to testify.

Schedule field visits to coincide with rain events if possible.  All field observations should include up and downstream inspections.  When sampling is not possible or feasible, include descriptions of stream conditions, Water Quality Standard general criteria violations, specifics relative to the disturbed area such as length, depth and extent of gullies and rills, presence/absence/condition of best management practices.  There is no such thing as too many photographs along with good descriptions.  But, there is such a thing as a bad photograph.  Review them as you take them.  A series of photos of the same locations over the course of time can be very effective to demonstrate the lack of activity by a defendant.

One defense argument that has been used is that the stormwater is running onto the defendant's property from an uphill property, so the defendant is not at fault.  While we know this should not be a credible defense, a judge may listen to it.  To counter this argument, Inspectors should document any uphill/upgrade properties and whether or not they are disturbed and contributing to the sediment leaving the defendant's property.

Likewise, other potential sources of the sediment in the receiving stream is a constant issue, it is very important to document upstream conditions of the receiving stream and presence (or lack thereof) of other potential sources of the sediment.  Be descriptive in your narrative; take measurements, photographs and samples if necessary.

Some observations to include are:

Be sure to take pictures as you conduct your inspection, as photographs are worth a thousand words and will support your observations.  Complete the land disturbance checklist, along with the notes in your field notebook, as you conduct the site tour.  A hand-drawn sketch of the site can also be useful, especially later as you write your report.  Remember that good documentation is an important part of the inspection process.  Be aware that your field notes are subject to Sunshine Law requests and should reflect only professional observations and comments.

Inspection Sampling
Sampling at land disturbance site inspections must occur during or soon after a rainfall event.  Therefore, the best time to conduct an inspection at a site with suspected or known problems is during a rainfall.  Wet weather observations and sampling will also be beneficial in understanding the site run-off characteristics and hydraulics, perhaps assisting with potential solutions.

Sampling protocol is similar to other water sampling, in that you should obtain a sample upstream of the outfall and a sample below the outfall.  It is also best if you can obtain a sample of water both upstream and downstream of the property.  This allows for the possibility of determining possible pollutant amounts entering the permitted area from neighboring construction developments.  Complex developments may require that you study the area and prepare a written sampling plan.  If you require assistance with sampling or with developing a sampling plan, you may contact the water quality monitoring section of the Environmental Services Program.

All sampling is to be conducted in accordance with Environmental Services Program Standard Operating Procedures and recorded on a Chain-of-Custody record (MDNR-ESP-002).  The inspector should review MDNR~ESP-005 for additional considerations for obtaining samples.

Post-inspection Procedures
Meet with the facility representative(s) and review both the satisfactory and unsatisfactory features that you saw during the site tour.  Explain the required actions, and where appropriate you can provide recommendations to correct simple deficiencies.  Be aware that it is the responsibility of the site owner or permittee to design features that will resolve difficult or complex problems.

The exit interview is the appropriate time to provide useful reference material or paperwork that may assist with compliance.  Also, remember to mention the Department's web site, when appropriate, as a place to obtain additional useful information.

Completing the Written Report
Due to the nature of construction, the conditions at land disturbance sites change rapidly.  Equally as important is to realize the lack of proper best management practices can cause damage to the environment at the next rain event.  This requires that our inspection activities progress at a more rapid pace.  Written reports for land disturbance sites must be completed and transmitted to the permittee within 10 business days of the date of the investigation or inspection.  Any enforcement response should follow the guidance of the Compliance Manual.

Follow-up
If there are significant deficiencies at a land disturbance site, a follow-up inspection must be conducted within 30 days of the original site inspection.  This is especially true if a Notice of Violation has been issued.  Repeat the procedures that were prescribed for conducting the initial inspection, being especially careful to document deficiencies that have been corrected, remaining deficiencies and any new problems that may be observed.  Again, prepare the written report and transmit to the permittee within 10 business days.  If an enforcement referral is warranted, follow the procedures of the Compliance Manual.

3.4.2 Mechanical Plant Inspections

Purpose
The purpose of this document is to establish a uniform process for conducting inspections on mechanical wastewater treatment plants.

Mechanical Plant Systems

Activated Sludge Systems (may not be all-inclusive)

Fixed Media Systems (may not be all-inclusive)

Pre-Inspection Activities
During the pre-inspection portion of the inspection, the inspector will collect and organize the information and equipment needed to conduct the site inspection. The pre-inspection procedures are generally conducted in three phases.

The inspector is to ensure that a copy of the Environmental Services Program DEQ Standard Operating Procedures MDNR–ESP-001 and ESP DEQ Field Sheets and Chain-of-Custody MDNR-ESP-002 is taken on the inspection.

Numbered and blank sample tags are to be obtained and brought during the inspection (See MDNR-ESP-003).

The inspector is to obtain a camera, GPS unit and spare batteries for all equipment to bring on the inspection. GPS readings are needed for new outfalls and any existing outfalls that have not had a GPS reading collected. The inspector must follow current department/program GPS collection and reporting procedures.

On-Site Inspection Activities
Site entry and initial briefing should be conducted at the facility in accordance with Chapter 3.1, General Inspection Procedures. If available, the inspector should speak with the plant operator or the worker with the most experience operating the facility. The inspector should explain the purpose, scope, and department authority for the inspection.

Several checklists are referenced and can be found in the checklists and forms section of this section.

When accessing the site, the inspector should note the presence of an all-weather access road to the facility. Because sludge is to be removed from this type of treatment facility routinely, an access road that will allow access to the plant by sludge removal equipment must be provided. In addition, the inspector should determine if the facility is protected from unauthorized access by an adequate security fence and appropriate warning signs.

The inspection tour of the plant shall begin at the headwork's of the plant. Depending upon plant configurations, different primary treatment methods may be encountered. Primary treatment may include the following:

A component of a wastewater treatment facility that is not considered treatment but necessary for plant operation and reporting requirements is the flow-measuring device. Not all facilities will have a flow-measuring device, as some facilities measure flow from the effluent only. Flow measuring devices include Parshall flumes, weirs, magnetic flowmeters and ultrasonic flowmeters. The inspector should observe and note the operational status of the flowmeter.

Next, the inspector is to observe the secondary treatment process used at the facility. The Activated Sludge Checklist, Rotating Biological Contactor Checklist, Trickling Filter Checklist, Sand Filter Checklist, and Activated Biofilter Checklist can be helpful.

Key items for the inspector to observe at an activated sludge facility include:

The inspector should proceed to the secondary clarifier system that follows the activated sludge system. Here, settleable and floatable materials are further removed from the treatment process. The inspector can use the Secondary Clarifier Checklist for assistance in completing the inspection of the secondary clarifier system.

Key items for the inspector to observe at a fixed media facility can include:

When inspecting the secondary clarifier of a fixed media system use the Secondary Clarifier Checklist for assistance.

If disinfection of the effluent occurs at the facility, the inspector observes the components of the disinfection unit(s). The use of the Ultraviolet (UV) Disinfection Checklist and Chlorination Checklist may be helpful.

Observe the sludge holding or sludge treatment structures used at the facility. Be certain that they are intact and the sludge is not at or near overflowing. The use of the Aerobic Digester Checklist and Anaerobic Digester Checklist can be helpful. If sludge is land applied see the University of Missouri Extension - Environmental Quality Publications for additional information.

Documentation is an important part of the inspection process, so record observations made during the inspection in the field notebook. Field notes are subject to Sunshine Law requests, therefore ensure that the notes taken are relevant to the inspection.

The inspector should take pictures of items of concern, as they conduct the inspection. This will help the inspector to correlate notes taken in the field with what the inspector viewed, while writing the inspection report. In addition, photos are very important for any enforcement case.

Inspection Sampling
Effluent - Each inspection shall include collecting samples of the effluent being discharged into the receiving stream. The determination of the chemical and the physical condition of effluent and its effect upon the receiving stream are among the most important components of the inspection. Compliance with effluent limitations does not always show the inspector whether the facility is in compliance with the permit. The inspector shall also use field equipment and direct observations to conduct water quality monitoring. Water quality monitoring with field equipment is to include but not limited to:             

All sampling is to be conducted in accordance with Environmental Services Program DEQ Standard Operating Procedures and recorded on a Chain-of-Custody record (MDNR-ESP-002). The inspector should review MDNR-ESP-005 for additional considerations for obtaining samples. Samples can include but are not limited to:

Instream Monitoring - The inspector is to observe the stream above and below the outfall location. The inspector should attempt to determine if there are there any unusual odors of the water in the stream? Are there visible color differences between upstream of the outfall and downstream, and are there any visible bottom deposits?

Downstream sites should be observed or sampled first. The inspector should work their way upstream while monitoring and sampling to prevent stirring of sediment in bottom of creek that could affect downstream results.

Operational Monitoring - The operational control monitoring requirements, listed in 10 CSR 20-9.010, are not required at all facilities. However, the monitoring can be conducted to assist the inspector in determining the health of the wastewater treatment plant. A dissolved oxygen meter reading in the aeration chamber will assist in determining if good mixing and aeration are occurring. In addition, the use of a pH meter in the aeration chamber will assist the inspector in determining the overall heath of the plant.

The inspector should review all onsite documentation that is required by the permit. The inspector shall ask to see if the facility has a copy of the Missouri State Operating Permit and Standard Conditions I, II (if necessary), and III. If they do not have available copies, the inspector is to provide a copy to the facility. The inspector should review the requirements and conditions of the permit with facility staff. In addition, the inspector should determine if there have been any changes at the facility, which are not listed on the permit, such as address, owner, continuing authority, and facility description. Provide a copy of the latest revision of the application for renewing the operating permit to the facility [Form B (MO-780-1512) or Form B2 (MO-780-1805) ].

In accordance with Standard Conditions Part I, the facility is required to retain records of all monitoring information. This is to include all calibration and maintenance records, all original strip chart recording for continuous monitoring instrumentation, copies of all reports required by this permit, and records of all data used to complete the application for this permit. Records are to be maintained for a period of at least three (3) years from the date of the sample, measurement, report or application. In addition, the permittee shall maintain records on file at the facility for at least five years for the items listed in Standard Conditions Part III and any additional items listed in the Special Conditions section of the permit.

Laboratory Inspection - If the facility has an onsite laboratory, the inspector should inspect the laboratory to determine if it is functional and in operational condition. The inspector should discuss with facility staff responsible for collecting samples the methods used for sample collection. In addition, the inspector should determine if the facility is performing any quality assurance/quality control procedures on the laboratory equipment to ensure that reliable and accurate data is being collected and reported to the department. The inspector should use the Laboratory Inspection Checklist.

If the facility has an outside laboratory performing analyses for the required sampling, the inspector should obtain and record the name and location of the contract laboratory. This information should be included in the inspection report.

Post Inspection Procedures
Meet with the facility representatives or operator after the physical inspection and conduct an exit interview.

If unsatisfactory features were discovered during the inspection or file review, review the violations with the plant operator or worker familiar with the plant.

If unsatisfactory features are discovered, the inspector should explain what actions would be necessary for the facility to take, to correct the violations.

The inspector should provide the facility contact any recommendations to prevent any future deficiencies.

Completing the Written Inspection Report
The inspector should complete the inspection report and transmit it to the facility or permittee in accordance with the guidance provided in Chapter 3.1, General Inspection Procedures.

Checklists

3.4.3 Inspection of Lagoon Wastewater Treatment Systems

Purpose
The purpose of this document is to supply inspectors and investigators with a uniform process to perform an inspection of a lagoon-type wastewater treatment system.

Lagoons may differ in size and appearance from each other and may consist of multiple or single cells. While different, they operate in similar ways, and the inspections of each type differ only slightly.

Lagoon Types

  • Non-aerated/Facultative Lagoons - These systems rely on passive treatment. They use biological (photosynthesis) and physical (wind action) processes to supply oxygen for use in treatment.
  • Aerated - These facilities use a mechanical device to mix atmospheric oxygen into the water. This often includes blowers or mechanical mixers.
Pre-Inspection Activities
During the pre-inspection portion of the inspection, the inspector should collect and organize the information and equipment needed to conduct the site inspection. The pre-inspection procedures are generally conducted in three phases.

A calibration of field meters should be conducted. This will help to ensure that the equipment is in working condition. In addition, the inspector shall ensure that the field meters have been through a recent Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) analysis. See Chapter Four, Environmental Sampling, for information on how to prepare and calibrate equipment.

The inspector is to prepare a sampling kit. At a minimum, the kit should include:

The inspector is to ensure that a copy of the Environmental Services Program DEQ Standard Operating Procedures MDNR–ESP-001 and ESP DEQ Field Sheets and Chain-of-Custody MDNR-ESP-002 is taken on the inspection.

Numbered and blank sample tags are to be obtained and brought during the inspection (See MDNR-ESP-003).

The inspector is to obtain a camera, GPS unit, and spare batteries for all equipment, to bring on the inspection. GPS readings are needed for new outfalls and any existing outfalls that have not had a GPS reading collected. The inspector must follow current department/program GPS collection and reporting procedures.

On-site Inspection Activities
Site entry and initial briefing should be conducted at the facility in accordance with Chapter 3.1, General Inspection Procedures. If available, the inspector should speak with the plant operator or the worker with the most experience operating the facility. The inspector should explain the purpose, scope, and department authority for the inspection.

Several checklists are referenced and can be found in the checklists and forms section at the end of this section.

When accessing the site, the inspector should note the presence of an all-weather access road to the facility. Because sludge is to be removed from this type of treatment facility routinely, an access road that will allow access to the plant by sludge removal equipment must be provided. In addition, the inspector should determine if the facility is protected from unauthorized access by an adequate security fence and appropriate warning signs.

Performance Inspection of Non-Aerated/Facultative Lagoon
The inspection tour of the plant should begin at the influent for the lagoon. You should use the Non-Aerated Lagoons Checklist. At a minimum, an inspection should include the following:

Performance Inspection of Aerated Lagoons

Use the Aerated Lagoons Checklist. Lagoons with aeration systems usually consist of multiple cells with the primary cell being aerated by some mechanical means. Some systems will be electrically powered surface floating mixers or aerators. Others will consist of anchored diffuser systems with air being supplied by a remote compressor or blower.

The same basic inspection protocol applies to aerated systems as non-aerated or facultative lagoons. However, for aerated systems there are some additional inspection steps:

Documentation is an important part of the inspection process, so record observations made during the inspection in the field notebook. Field notes are subject to Sunshine Law requests; therefore ensure that the notes taken are relevant to the inspection.

The inspector should take pictures of items of concern as the inspection is conducted. This will help the inspector to correlate notes taken in the field with what the inspector viewed, while writing the inspection report. In addition, photos are very important for any enforcement case.

Inspection Sampling
Effluent - Each inspection shall include collecting samples of the effluent being discharged into the receiving stream. The determination of the chemical and the physical condition of effluent and its effect upon the receiving stream are among the most important components of the inspection. Compliance with effluent limitations does not always show the inspector whether the facility is in compliance with the permit. The inspector shall also use field equipment and direct observations to conduct water quality monitoring. Water quality monitoring with field equipment is to include but not limited to:

All sampling is to be conducted in accordance with Environmental Services Program DEQ Standard Operating Procedures and recorded on a Chain-of-Custody record (MDNR-ESP-002). The inspector should review MDNR-ESP-005 for additional considerations for obtaining samples. Samples can include but are not limited to:

Instream Monitoring - The inspector is to observe the stream above and below the outfall location. The inspector should attempt to determine if there are any unusual odors of the water in the stream. Are there visible color differences between upstream of the outfall and downstream, and are there any visible bottom deposits?

Downstream sites should be observed or sampled first. The inspector should work their way upstream while monitoring and sampling to prevent stirring of sediment in bottom of creek that could affect downstream results.

Operational Monitoring - The operational control monitoring requirements, listed in 10 CSR 20-9.010, are not required at all facilities. However, the monitoring can be conducted to assist the inspector in determining the health of the wastewater treatment plant. A dissolved oxygen meter reading in the aeration chamber will assist in determining if good mixing and aeration are occurring. In addition, the use of a pH meter in the aeration chamber will assist the inspector in determining the overall heath of the plant.

The inspector should review all onsite documentation that is required by the permit. The inspector shall ask to see if the facility has a copy of the Missouri State Operating Permit and Standard Conditions I, II (if necessary), and III. If they do not have available copies, the inspector is to provide a copy to the facility. The inspector should review the requirements and conditions of the permit with facility staff. In addition, the inspector should determine if there have been any changes at the facility that are not listed on the permit, such as address, owner, continuing authority, and facility description. Provide a copy of the latest revision of the application for renewing the operating permit to the facility [Form B (MO-780-1512) or Form B2 (MO-780-1805)].

In accordance with Standard Conditions Part I, the facility is required to retain records of all monitoring information. This is to include all calibration and maintenance records, all original strip chart recording for continuous monitoring instrumentation, copies of all reports required by this permit, and records of all data used to complete the application for this permit. Records are to be maintained for a period of at least three (3) years from the date of the sample, measurement, report or application. In addition, the permittee shall maintain records on file at the facility for at least five years for the items listed in Standard Conditions Part III and any additional items listed in the Special Conditions section of the permit.

Laboratory Inspection - If the facility has an onsite laboratory, the inspector should inspect the laboratory to determine if it is functional and in operational condition. The inspector should discuss with facility staff responsible for collecting samples the methods used for sample collection. In addition, the inspector should determine if the facility is performing any quality assurance/quality control procedures on the laboratory equipment to ensure that reliable and accurate data is being collected and reported to the department. The inspector should use the Laboratory Inspection Checklist.

If the facility has an outside laboratory performing analyses for the required sampling, the inspector should obtain and record the name and location of the contract laboratory. This information should be included in the inspection report.

Post Inspection Procedures
Meet with the facility representatives or operator after the physical inspection and conduct an exit interview.

If unsatisfactory features were discovered during the inspection or file review, review the violations with the plant operator or worker familiar with the plant.

If unsatisfactory features are discovered, the inspector should explain what actions would be necessary for the facility to correct the violations.

The inspector should provide the facility contact any recommendations to prevent any future deficiencies.

Completing the Written Inspection Report
The inspector should complete the inspection report and transmit it to the facility or permittee in accordance with the guidance provided in Chapter 3.1, General Inspection Procedures.

Lagoon Exemptions
The Clean Water Commission Regulations allow for permitting exemptions for less than 3,000 gallon per day (gpd) non-discharging lagoons.  The Water Pollution Control Branch has also developed a policy 3,000 Gallons Per Day or Less No-Discharge Permit Exemption for Domestic Wastewater Facilities (Lagoons)that outlines specific information to determine if a facility meets the requirements of the exemption.  The Lagoon Investigation Decision Tree provides guidance for determining actions to take during unpermitted lagoon investigations.  Systems found to be in non-exempt status should be inspected using the procedures described above.

Checklists

3.4.4 Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations

Note icon.Editor’s Note: At the date of publication, all links in this section to Standard Operating Procedure documents direct only department staff to material on the department’s Intranet site. Users outside the department’s computer network who click those links will reach an error message.

Overview
The inspector will use this document as a guide for conducting inspections at Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, or CAFOs. The procedures will aid in the completion, consistency, and thoroughness of inspections and reports. It will also improve sampling protocol to support the compliance and enforcement efforts of the department, the Attorney General’s office, and other agencies such as EPA.

Types of Systems
The two general types of waste management at CAFOs are the dry process waste system and the wet handling system. In a dry process waste system, animals may be confined on a floor covered with wood chips, rice hulls or similar materials. The dry process waste mixture has less than 75 percent moisture content and is not exposed during storage to precipitation or storm water runoff.  In a wet handling system, the process wastewater contains more than 75 percent moisture content or has free draining liquids.

Pre-inspection Procedures
The inspector shall prepare by conducting a thorough file review prior to the inspection. Past inspection reports, incident reports, and environmental concerns and investigations are reviewed to determine historical violations or to identify other areas of potential non-compliance. The inspector will review the current operating permit and be familiar with the specific requirements for the facility. The inspector will be familiar with the procedures listed in the facility's Nutrient Management Plan, or NMP, operating permit, and the Nutrient Management Technical Standard, or NMTS. Any current construction or land disturbance permits are to be reviewed. The inspector will take a copy of the current operating permit, to be used as a reference, at the time of the inspection.

Inspection Equipment
Be certain to check for the successful operation and calibration of field analysis equipment prior to leaving the office.

In addition to the usual inspection equipment the following items are also to be taken on the inspection:

A sampling kit should, at a minimum, include a distilled water bottle for the rinsing of equipment, personal protective gear suitable for the sampling event, sample transport cooler(s), ice, appropriate sample containers, correct preservatives, and numbered and blank sample tags. The most common sampling parameter for CAFOs is ammonia, which requires the addition of sulfuric acid preservative until the resulting pH is less than 2. Use the Standard Operating Procedures MDNR-ESP-001 and the Chain-of-Custody sheet MDNR-ESP-002 during the inspection.

Additional equipment may be necessary depending on the facility or other conditions. An orange safety vest should be worn during deer firearm hunting season if the facility is located in a hunting area.

Site Entry
The inspector must be certain to comply with the facility's bio-security policy. Many facilities will require visitors and their vehicles to have a three-night down time between visits. Some facilities may require that you ride in a designated vehicle while on-site. In some cases, it may be necessary to contact the facility prior to the inspection to gain access and discuss the current bio-security procedures. Provide only enough notice for a successful site entry and inspection.

As general guidance on bio-security you may refer to the department Compliance Manual and EPA’s bio-security guidance document.

Records Review
Records reviews will focus on inspections, storage structure levels, and land application records of the CAFO for compliance with the NMP, operating permit, and NMTS. Be certain to review daily rainfall records and weekly storage structure levels back to the date of the previous inspection, or previous five years, for facilities that have open liquid manure storage. Additional facility inspections and records may be required within the permit. The inspector will review the weekly records of the inspections maintained on-site by facility personnel. The inspector shall also review a sampling of any additional records required by the facility's NMP, operating permit, or the NMTS. If records are not readily available, the inspector will request that copies be sent to the appropriate office. Be certain to acquire the animal inventory numbers for the 12-month rolling averages  to determine if the facility is operating within the appropriate class size.   After the records review the inspector will meet with facility representatives to discuss the deficiencies. Additional information can be requested such as sampling records, work orders, internal inspection records, and other records as are required by the facility's NMP, operating permit, and the NMTS.

Quarterly Inspection and Records Review of Class IA CAFO
A quarterly inspection, based upon the calendar year, of each Class IA CAFO which uses a flush system is required by Section 640.750 RSMo. The inspection conducted during January, February or March will focus primarily on a record review of the facility’s annual report from the previous year. The inspector will, also, thoroughly review all records required by facility's NMP, operating permit, and the NMTS during the January, February or March inspection. The Water Pollution Control Branch will work in conjunction with the appropriate office in reviewing the land application records contained in the facility’s annual report. If time allows during the January, February or March inspection, the inspector may conduct a physical evaluation of the facility’s compliance with permit requirements. The quarterly inspections conducted during the remainder of the year will focus primarily on observations of the production facilities, waste storage structures and land application activities. Class IA facilities without flush systems shall to be inspected at least annually,

Facility Tour
Bio-security issues may mandate the order in which the inspector may visit production sites, waste storage structures, mortality management areas, and water monitoring sites. The inspector shall inform the facility representative of all sites that they intend to visit and ensure they are conducted in a sequence that will not violate the facility's bio-security policy.

The inspector must use the CAFO inspection checklist during the inspection. The inspector will evaluate the exterior of production buildings for evidence of leaks or releases of process wastes, such as cracks in foundations or stressed vegetation. Note any areas of erosion around the buildings. Vegetation should be maintained at a reasonable height. No excessive feed or bedding spills shall be present. Any clean-out risers will have a secured cap.

The inspector does not normally have a business need to enter the inside of production buildings, particularly at swine or poultry operations. At facilities with large numbers of production buildings, it may be more practical to use a vehicle to drive around the buildings. The inspector should randomly stop and walk around several of the buildings as part of the inspection.

Waste Storage Structures
Adequate freeboard in storage structures must be maintained. If waste storage structure markers are required, ensure they accurately depict the level. When feasible, concrete containment structures are to be inspected for cracks or other evidence of structural deficiencies or releases. Inspect pumps and return lines for evidence of leaks. Check lagoon berms for wet areas, seeps, erosion rills, gullies or deeply rooted vegetation which might indicate signs of compromised structural integrity.

Secondary Containment of Class IA Flush Systems
Class IA sites which utilize a flush system are also required to have secondary containment structures or earthen dams. These structures must be capable of containing a minimum volume equal to the maximum capacity of flushing, in any 24-hour period, from all gravity outfall lines, recycle pump stations and recycle force mains. Check to be certain that valves are closed and discharge pipes are not leaking. Check the berms for seeps, erosion rills, gullies or deeply rooted vegetation. Be aware that erosion in structures may lower acceptable storage volumes. The basins are to be free of deep-rooted vegetation such as cattails. Observe for evidence of wastewater effluent within the containment structures such as stressed vegetation. The inspector shall conduct water monitoring below the containment structure if there is evidence of a possible release(s).

Solid Storage Areas
The inspector shall inspect solid storage areas. Temporary stockpiles of solids may be stored for up to two weeks in the land application area. All stockpiles must be located at least 300 feet from drainage ways. Proper runoff controls must be provided by the facility. Temporary stockpiling of uncovered solids within the production area, without runoff collection, is not allowed.  Inspect the stack houses for proper maintenance. No run-off or leachate is allowed to enter or threaten waters of the state.

Managing Mortalities
Inspect the mortality management areas. Mortalities must be managed within 24 hours of discovery. Inspect the compost piles for proper operation. Mortalities are to be adequately covered. Leachate must be actively managed and not threatening discharge to waters of the state. The finished compost material must be land applied at the proper agronomic rates.

If mortalities are transported off-site for rendering, also inspect any mortality storage areas or transfer stations.

A facility does not need a permit from the Air Pollution Program to operate a mortality incinerator unless they accept mortalities from off-site. Incinerator ash must be land applied at agronomic rates or disposed of as solid waste.

Land Application Sites
Inspect the land application areas. Evaluate the separation distances and determine acceptable values.  The inspector shall evaluate all records pertaining to the land application event. Verify the application rates. In some instances, the use of a rain gauge may be appropriate. Evaluate the slope of the field and determine if any applicable required reduction in the application rate is required or, has been implemented by the crew. Ensure that adequate monitoring of the pumps, lines and hoses is being conducted. Observe the soil and weather conditions. Ensure the land application is being conducted in compliance with requirements of the facility's NMP, operating permit, and the NMTS.

Sampling
The inspector shall conduct water quality monitoring during a CAFO compliance inspection when a discharge or release is suspected. Water will be monitored for ammonia with a field kit, temperature, conductivity, pH, and dissolved oxygen. General observations of water appearance and other conditions are to be recorded. If elevated ammonia levels (above 1.5 mg/L) are found with the field test kit that indicate a possible permit or water quality violation, a sample will be taken for laboratory analysis. Likely sample locations include any receiving streams or storm water drainage that receives run-off from the site. If land application is being conducted, drainage below the land application is an ideal monitoring location. If a release has occurred into a secondary containment structure, the inspector shall conduct water monitoring below the containment.

Documentation
Documentation is an important part of the inspection process. The inspector shall record all observations in a clear and concise manner in a notebook or notepad as the tour is conducted. Accurate and complete field notes are required in order to prepare a detailed inspection report.  A hand-drawn sketch may also be useful.  Field notes are subject to records requests under the Missouri Sunshine Law. Ensure that only relevant and appropriate material and comments are entered into the notes. Photographs will be taken of any violations or items of concern.

Exit Interview
The inspector shall review, with facility personnel, any unsatisfactory features observed during the inspection. Be sure to explain any required actions and options for compliance. The inspector will provide the facility with any relevant technical bulletins or guide sheets.

Report Preparation
A written inspection report must be completed and mailed to the CAFO when an unsatisfactory feature is found during an inspection.   The written inspection report must follow the guidelines established in 3.1 Appendix A of the Operations Manual. 

When no unsatisfactory feature is found, an inspector can either mail the checklist or write a report.  If the inspector chooses to mail a completed comprehensive checklist, it must be attached to a cover letter.  The cover letter should document the date of the inspection, the person conducting the inspection, have a general statement of compliance, and refer the reader to the comprehensive checklist.  Inspectors should include adequate comments in the appropriate areas of the checklist so the facility and the inspector can easily determine the findings of the inspection. 

Checklists and Instructions