APCD conducts a wide range of compliance activities, including investigating citizen complaints and monitoring compliance with permits for businesses ranging from small sources such as dry cleaners, body shops and gasoline dispensing facilities to large sources such as power plants and chemical factories. The agency also monitors asbestos removal projects and open burning. Knowledgeable, dedicated professionals, including environmental compliance officers, engineers and environmental specialists perform these activities. They are sworn peace officers with the authority to enter and inspect industrial premises for suspected violations of air quality laws.
Below are some general descriptions of the various compliance activities. For more detailed descriptions of the compliance policies and procedures, follow the links.
Many of the problems that APCD investigates originate with a simple phone call from a citizen. The complaint could involve a citizen concern about an unusual odor in their neighborhood; or, it might be smoke from an unauthorized open burn. A compliance officer begins an investigation, including one or multiple visits to the location. The compliance officer calls the complainant to describe the findings. If a violation is found, then it is referred for enforcement.
APCDs work with companies that have air pollution permits to maintain levels of emissions as low as possible while continuing to do business in Louisville/Jefferson County. Inspections are performed on a regular basis to ensure compliance with the permit standards and record keeping requirements. APCD engineers and environmental specialists review reports submitted regularly by the companies to prevent any unnecessary or unforeseen violations of the air pollution standards. Details on inspections and testing for gasoline dispensing facilities can be found at Gasoline Systems. Details regarding inspections, reporting, testing, and compliance assistance for other permitted facilities can be found at Permit Compliance. See also Compliance Assistance Templates and Forms.
APCD issues asbestos permits for demolition and renovation projects where asbestos-containing materials are suspected and may need to be removed. This includes public, commercial and industrial buildings, as well as multiplex housing. Permits are not typically required for private homes. Asbestos removal is governed by specific local, state and federal regulations, such as the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPs). APCD compliance officers work with permittees making sure they comply with asbestos requirements before a project is begun.
APCD compliance officers inspect fire pits and potential fire wood piles before an open burning permit is issued to ensure compliance with the regulations. APCD also investigates citizen complaints and fire department notifications regarding possible unpermitted open fires. In some cases the fire department may be called to extinguish the fire. Compliance officers have the authority to issue a field citation for minor violations, where more serious violations may be referred for enforcement.