APCD has a legal obligation and responsibility to ensure compliance with its regulations. We also must make sure that state and federal laws are followed. This is done to improve air quality and promote both the public and economic health of our community.
The primary service provided by APCD’s Enforcement section is resolving alleged violations.
Working closely with compliance units at APCD, Enforcement may receive a violation recommendation in one of several ways:
Inspections of affected facilities
Reviews of plant operations
Self reporting from companies
Routine surveillance from an APCD Community Compliance Officer
Enforcement staff investigates by obtaining and reviewing evidence then determining which regulations and laws may have been violated. The Enforcement team then considers the appropriate sanction for the alleged violation (typically a monetary penalty and remedial measures), and a Notice of Violation (NOV) will be issued.
Sometimes the enforcement case is then assigned to a Jefferson County Attorney, who will work with APCD and the alleged violator to resolve the case. Typically, these cases are resolved in one of four ways:
High-Priority Violations (HPV)
Though all violations of air quality regulations are considered serious, some are given a higher priority because of the particular pollutants involved. These “high priority violations” (HPVs) are significant violations of federally-enforceable regulations at a major source. They require immediate attention from APCD and greater oversight by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which has established HPV Guidelines for prompt resolution and return to compliance after these major violations. For more information on HPV Guidelines visit http://www2.epa.gov/sites/production/files/documents/hpvmanualrevised.pdf.