Compliance Monitoring, Inspection and Permitting

Principle 7 : Compliance monitoring and inspection.
Environmental Agencies should monitor compliance and conduct inspections in accordance with standard procedures that reduce risks to public health and the environment.

An EA should develop a compliance monitoring program that enables both detection and correction of violations, and supports enforcement actions. An EA should monitor compliance via information developed from facility inspections, self-monitoring, and citizen complaints. To ensure effectiveness, uniformity, and fairness, an EA should develop and adopt standardized monitoring and inspection procedures and practices, and manage the resulting information in computerized data management systems.

Given that monitoring and inspection is resource intensive, an EA should develop innovative approaches for improving efficiencies, such as multi-media inspections, community monitoring, and mobilizing trained and certified third-party inspectors.

Principle 8 : Self-monitoring, recordkeeping, and self-reporting.
Environmental Agencies should require the regulated community to self-monitor, self-report and keep records on their environmental performance.

Self-monitoring, recordkeeping, and self-reporting are effective, fair, and efficient means for EAs to monitor compliance. By requiring the regulated community to measure and report their performance, an EA is able to shift some of the burden for compliance monitoring to the regulated community. Self-monitoring can also lead to prompt responses by the government and regulated sources to situations involving non-compliance. Through sanctions defined in regulations or permit requirements for false reporting or non-reporting, an EA can ensure the accuracy of the reports and their usefulness as a management tool.

Principle 9 : Permitting.
Environmental compliance and enforcement programs should require all stationary pollution sources with significant environmental impact to obtain an environmental permit as a precondition to operation.

The provision of environmental permits to industrial installations is a fundamental element of the regulatory process addressing pollution. Major pollution sources should be subject to environmental permitting on a case-by-case basis that promotes pollution prevention rather than end-of-pipe control as a fundamental principle. In contrast, small- and medium-sized enterprises should be subject to a simplified regulatory regime, since these sources pose a lower environmental risk, and case-by-case permitting imposes a disproportionately heavy administrative and financial burden on sources and regulators.

Permit conditions should be unambiguous and enforceable, and should be based on statutory requirements and technical guidance developed in cooperation with all stakeholders. Permit conditions should be made accessible to the public.