What to Expect After an Ohio EPA Inspection, Part 5
You’ve made it through the EPA inspection, now what?
After any EPA inspection, the company will receive either a Compliance Letter or a Notice of Violation (NOV) Letter.
An EPA Compliance Letter means:
- The company is meeting the requirements reviewed during the inspection
- This does not mean the company is in compliance with all Ohio EPA regulations, just the inspector’s division
An EPA Notice of Violation (NOV) letter:
- Means violations were found during the inspection
- The NOV letter has a description of the violations
- States what the company needs to do to correct the violations
- Indicates a timeframe to correct the violations
Once the EPA letter is received:
- Contact the inspector with questions about the NOV
- Contact the inspector if facts in the NOV are wrong
- Contact the inspector if you don’t understand what you need to do to correct the violations
- Contact the inspector if you have questions on the enforcement process or need more time to respond
- DO NOT throw away or ignore the NOV!
- Do not wait until the last day to respond to the NOV
- Do not cut off communication with the inspector – they are a resource for helping you resolve violations
Take Steps to Avoid Enforcement:
Ohio EPA inspectors cannot issue fines. Most violation are resolved locally without legal actions or fines. Escalating process starts with the local office and ends with Headquarters or the Attorney General. You typically have opportunities to settle before escalation happens.