Under the EPA’s regulator structure is the Clean Air Act, which restricts emissions into the air. There are two types of Clean Air Act Evaluations:
- PCE or Partial Compliance Evaluation
- FCE or Full Compliance Evaluation
PCEs are focused on specific pollutants and emissions violations. Evaluators may take a more in-depth look at your business, but these evaluations are not full-scale.
FCEs, on the other hand, are comprehensive and all-encompassing investigations into the status and level of compliance within a facility. FCE investigators evaluate all regulated pollutants and emission units in addition to addressing your ability to maintain compliance at each emission unit.
A Full Compliance Evaluation may include:
- An assessment of air pollution control devices
- A review of reports and records
- An assessment of operating conditions
- Observation of visible emissions
- An assessment of feed rates, raw material compositions, and process rates
- A review of operating logs
- A stack test if there is not an alternative method of evaluation
FCEs are the most comprehensive evaluations, and they may be done through a series of Partial Compliance Evaluations and audits.
Civil Investigations and EPA Audits
In some cases, a citizen, agency, or study may find that a business is in violation of EPA regulations. If this occurs, the EPA will launch a civil investigation to determine whether the reports are founded or purely speculation. These investigations are more involved and may take weeks or months, depending on the severity of the complaint and the complexity of the case.
Audits are evaluations that provide data for determining whether a business is eligible for incentives or if criminal prosecution is necessary. Incentives are not a reward for good behavior but a penalty for failing to follow EPA guidelines. They provide an opportunity for mitigation.
Voluntary corrective measures and self-reporting may help to reduce the penalties from the EPA. Companies should self-report issues directly to the EPA within 21 days of discovering the violation.
Helping Clients Comply with EPA Regulations
An evaluation or audit of your business may interfere with your business operations. Even Partial Compliance Evaluations can take time and resources to resolve.
RPF Environmental has over 30 years of industry experience and countless satisfied clients from various industries and sectors. Our team of EPA compliance consultants is committed to providing high-quality service with a fast turnaround so you can get back to doing what you do best.
Contact RPF Environmental for all of your environmental testing and EPA compliance training needs.