The Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that the federal regulator has sometimes failed to ensure that facilities covered under consent decrees were complying with certain key terms.
Further, consent decree terms were not always incorporated into facilities’ permit as required by the consent decree, the IG’s office said in a report released Sept. 10.
“The seven EPA regions we interviewed have not implemented automated systems for tracking compliance,” according to the report. Also EPA guidance does not establish clear requirements on how regional staff should monitor these legal agreements.
“Thus, violations of the approved emission limits could go undetected since Louisiana and West Virginia permitting and enforcement staff were not aware of the requirements of the [consent decrees] we reviewed,” according to the IG’s office.
“We made six recommendations ranging from updating and reissuing guidance for regional monitoring of CDs and termination procedures to requiring the use of a monitoring system to track CD compliance. The agency agreed with three of the six recommendations, which are resolved. The agency partially agreed or disagreed with the remaining recommendations, which are unresolved,” according to the IG.