To minimize their impact on human health and the environment, industries,
businesses and individuals in the State of Vermont are expected to comply
with air pollution control regulations and with the requirements of any
air pollution control permits that have been issued to them. One of the
ways in which the Air Quality & Climate Division monitors compliance is
by conducting on-site inspections of factories and businesses. The
Compliance Section performs roughly 100 of these site visits per year.
A facility usually receives minimal or no advance notice that an air pollution
inspection is scheduled.
On-site inspections focus on:
- the physical appearance of process equipment
and related emission control devices,
- current operating conditions, as indicated
by any available monitoring gages and the presence or absence of visible
emissions or excessive odors,
- whether or not an emission control device
or technique is required and being properly used, and
- thoroughness of recordkeeping related
to emissions control.
The physical appearance of the equipment
and the thoroughness of written maintenance records can be an indicator
of how well it is being maintained. Poorly maintained sources are more
likely to malfunction and create excess emissions than are well maintained
sources. If an inspector discovers air pollution violations or other problems,
he or she will work with the facility to resolve the problems as soon
||Excessive smoke from
fugitive dust from rock crushing.
Inspections are prioritized based, among
other things, on the quantity of emissions and the past compliance history
of the facility. Sources that emit a large quantity of emissions, that
have a poor compliance history, or that have a newly issued permit are
more likely to be inspected. Inspections targeting certain source types
may also be performed because a new regulation affecting that type of
source has been adopted.
Although the primary purpose of an inspection is to determine if a facility
is in compliance with air pollution regulations or permits, it frequently
is an opportunity for the inspector to answer questions. If the facility
is planning to make changes to its operation, the inspector can provide
advice about the need for an amended air permit or ways to minimize emissions.
To assist facilities who are developing or updating operation and maintenance
plans needed to show compliance with air pollution regulations and permits,
the Division has developed a set of
O&M plan guidelines. It should be noted that these guidelines
do not address every possible situation, and are oriented toward air pollution
control and not general facility maintenance. The Division reviews the
actual O&M plans and discusses with the facility any revisions needed
to ensure that the plan meets air pollution control requirements.
Facility Compliance Data:
A summary of air pollution (and other) compliance information for a facility
is available to the public on the
"Enforcement and Compliance History Online" ("ECHO")
website. This site is sponsored by the USEPA. ECHO reports provide
a snapshot of a facility's environmental record, showing dates and types
of violations, as well as the State or Federal government's response.
last updated 7/24/13