Inspections of generators of hazardous waste are required by State law, to protect human health and the environment. A typical inspection includes a walk-through and viewing of waste generating and storage areas, and review of documentation including shipping documents (manifests and bills of lading), contingency plans, and other hazardous waste documents. Upon presentation of credentials, an Investigator may seek permission to inspect or investigate any portion of the property, fixtures, or other appurtenances belonging to or used by a person whose activity is required to be in compliance. Inspections of Hazardous Waste Generators are typically unannounced so that normal operating conditions can be observed. Facilities/Generators are chosen for inspections based on a number of factors, including:
- The size of generator or facility being inspected. Generally, Treatment, storage or disposal facilities (TSDF) are inspected every other year, large quantity generators (LQG) and Small quantity generators (SQGs) are inspected every 5 years and conditionally exempt generators (CEGs) are inspected at a less frequent rate.
- Whether or not the generator has been the subject of a prior enforcement action. The Vermont Hazardous Waste schedules inspections in order to determine if violations have been corrected or to confirm continuing compliance.
- If a complaint is received regarding a specific activity is being or has been conducted that may constitute or cause a violation.
Types of Facilities or Sites Inspected:
- Generators - those that generate hazardous waste;
- Treatment, storage or disposal facility (TSDF) - those sites which use land and structures for treating, storing and disposing of hazardous waste; and
- Transporters - those that transport hazardous waste.
- Non-Generators –For those that have not notified, typically in response to a complaint of improper handling/storage of hazardous waste.
Types of Inspections:
- Compliance Assistance Visit (CAV) is an technical site-specific compliance assistance on-site visit and are conducted without the threat of enforcement (unless there is the discovery of a high priority violation or an acute violation). A compliance assistance visit does not include evaluation events that would qualify as another inspection type such as a compliance evaluation inspection (CEI).
- Compliance Evaluation Inspection (CEI) is an on-site evaluation of a hazardous waste handler's compliance with RCRA regulations and permit standards. The purpose of the CEI is to gather information necessary to determine compliance and support enforcement actions, and includes all aspects of hazardous waste generation and handling.
- Focused Compliance Inspection (FCI) is an on-site inspection that addresses only a specific portion or subpart of the Vermont hazardous waste management regulations or to perform a physical site evaluation to verify hazardous waste activity.
- Follow-up Inspection (FUI) is a partial (focused) or full on-site inspection conducted to verify the status of violations cited during a previous evaluation.
- Generator Closure Inspection (GCI) is a focused, on-site inspection of small quantity generators and large quantity generators undergoing closure.
The inspector(s) will identify readily apparent alleged violations during a closing conference. The inspector will then prepare a letter with summary of violations observed during the inspection and provide a compliance directives to the generator. If something has not been addressed through post-inspection correspondence, follow-up questions or requests for additional submittals will be made by the DEC inspector in the letter. In all cases, a response from the generator will be required.