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e-CFR data is current as of February 22, 2021

Title 40Chapter ISubchapter A → Part 31

Title 40: Protection of Environment


§31.1   Procedures conducted by EPA for on-site civil inspections.

Authority: Clean Air Act 42 U.S.C. 7414, 7525, 7542, 7603, 7621; Clean Water Act 33 U.S.C. 1318, 1321, 1364, 1367; Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act 42 U.S.C. 9604, 9606, 9622, Executive Order 12580, section 2(j)(2); Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act 7 U.S.C. 136; Resource Conservation and Recovery Act 42 U.S.C. 6908, 6912, 6927, 6928, 6934, 6971, 6973, 6991, 6992; Safe Drinking Water Act 42 U.S.C. 300; Toxic Substances Control Act 15 U.S.C. 2610; 5 U.S.C. 301; and Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1970, 84 Stat. 2086.

Source: 85 FR 12226, Mar. 2, 2020, unless otherwise noted.

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§31.1   Procedures conducted by EPA for on-site civil inspections.

(a) All on-site civil inspections by EPA inspectors shall be conducted in accordance with this part. For purposes of this part, all references throughout to “inspection” or “inspections” refer to on-site civil inspections; this part does not apply to criminal inspections or investigations of environmental crimes.

(b) EPA inspections shall take place at such times and in such places as appropriate.

(c) At the beginning of an inspection, EPA inspectors shall present their credentials to the owner, operator, or agent in charge at the facility or site, if available. EPA inspectors shall generally explain the nature and purpose of the inspection; offer an opening conference; confirm any safety hazards; and indicate generally the scope of the inspection and the records which they wish to review. However, such designation of records shall not preclude access to additional records.

(1) During the opening conference, EPA inspectors shall, where applicable and practicable, offer facility personnel the opportunity to obtain split samples or to collect duplicate samples.

(2) If the facility is a small business, EPA inspectors shall offer a Small Business Resources Information Sheet to help small businesses understand and comply with federal and state environmental laws.

(d)(1) EPA inspectors shall document observations, and, as appropriate, take environmental or other samples and take or obtain photographs and copies of documents related to the purpose of the inspection, and employ other reasonable investigative techniques.

(2) Where possible, EPA inspectors shall interview the owner, operator, agent or employee of an establishment. Reasonable investigative techniques include, but are not limited to, the use of monitoring devices/equipment to measure releases to the environment.

(e) EPA inspectors shall take reasonable precautions to ensure actions conducted during inspections will not cause hazardous situations, and, where appropriate, wear and use appropriate protective clothing and equipment.

(f)(1) At the conclusion of an inspection, EPA inspectors shall offer a closing conference, where practicable, to confer with the facility/site representative and informally advise them of any observations, potential deficiencies and concerns discovered by the inspection, as applicable.

(2) During such conference, the facility/site representative shall be afforded an initial opportunity to bring to the attention of the EPA inspector any pertinent information regarding the potential concerns identified.

(g) After an inspection, EPA shall prepare an inspection report and share it with the facility. The content and format of the report may vary.

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