Revised Illinois comment 070709x
4 Pages
English
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Revised Illinois comment 070709x

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4 Pages
English

Description

Representatives of Illinois’ Environmental Protection Agency wrote the following when asked to provide or verify figures regarding the state's enforcement of the Clean Water Act: “Please note that the Illinois EPA is required by the Illinois Environmental Protection Act to provide each violator an opportunity to return to compliance prior to referral for formal enforcement. Violation Notices (VNs) and Compliance Commitment Agreements (CCAs) are part of this statutory process. If a violation is continuing to occur that is causing a significant water quality impact, then an immediate referral for formal enforcement is allowed in accordance with Section 43 of the Illinois Environmental Protection Act. Formal enforcement is one tool for obtaining NPDES program compliance. We protect the resources of the state through an integrated system of permitting and compliance assurance. Forment of a non-compliant facility, or to remedy a violation, is usually our last step in the compliance assurance process. The Illinois EPA does not have independent enforcement authority. This means that in order to obtain formal orders and assess penalties on polluters, we must refer our cases to USEPA or the Illinois Attorney General’s office for formal action. It is important that you tell your readers that not all NPDES violations contribute to pollution and they do not all merit enforcement action. Many Discharge Monitoring Report (DMR) and schedule violations ...

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Representatives of Illinois’ Environmental Protection Agency wrote the following when asked to provide or verify figures regarding the state's enforcement of the Clean Water Act: “Please note that the Illinois EPA is required by the Illinois Environmental Protection Act to provide each violator an opportunity to return to compliance prior to referral for formal enforcement. ViolationNotices (VNs) and Compliance Commitment Agreements (CCAs) are part of this statutory process.If a violation is continuing to occur that is causing a significant water quality impact, then an immediate referral for formal enforcement is allowed in accordance with Section 43 of the Illinois Environmental Protection Act. Formal enforcement is one tool for obtaining NPDES program compliance.We protect the resources of the state through an integrated system of permitting and compliance assurance. Formal enforcement of a noncompliant facility, or to remedy a violation, is usually our last step in the compliance assurance process. The Illinois EPA does not have independent enforcement authority. Thismeans that in order to obtain formal orders and assess penalties on polluters, we must refer our cases to USEPA or the Illinois Attorney General’s office for formal action. It is important that you tell your readers that not all NPDES violations contribute to pollution and they do not all merit enforcement action.Many Discharge Monitoring Report (DMR) and schedule violations flagged by the ICISNPDES system are the result of late reporting and other “paper” violations. For example, an annual report received a day late is considered a NPDES violation; however, this type of “paper” violation has no impact on the receiving waters of the state. Inaddition, many effluent violations identified on monthly DMRs have already had the appropriate corrective actions taken by facility operators by the time the forms are submitted to us. In addition, we find that many noncompliance situations can be effectively and efficiently resolved through informal enforcement actions including NonCompliance Advisories (NCAs) and VNs.In summary, most noncompliance is effectively addressed without formal enforcement being pursued. It is also important to note that the Illinois EPA’s field staff performs literally thousands of NPDES permitted facility inspections each year.Please see the chart entitled “Illinois Compliance/Enforcement Overview” and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, Division of Water Pollution Control, Field Operations Section figure. Inspection types include evaluation, sampling, reconnaissance, pretreatment, grant/loan, livestock, stormwater, operator assistance, and emergency response.Thirtynine Field Operations Inspectors, three Environmental Compliance Specialists, and five Division of Legal Attorneys are involved in determining compliance or noncompliance with applicable requirements and recommending compliance and enforcement followup actions. Illinois NPDES Compliance Assurance/Enforcement Process Overview: In Illinois, achieving NPDES program compliance is our main objective whether it involves formal enforcement or not.The Illinois EPA is delegated the NPDES program from USEPA and, as such, receives federal funding to administer the permitting, compliance, monitoring, and enforcement activities of the program. USEPA sets the state’s priorities for the NPDES program, including enforcement in a document entitled the “Performance Partnership Agreement.”
Traditionally, USEPA’s focus has been on addressing Significant NonCompliance (SNC) occurring at the major dischargers.This strategy prioritized compliance and enforcement followup for the significant violations at the largest dischargers in the State.Discharges from facilities classified as “major” account for over 93% of the total flow released to Illinois’ surface waters. Ona quarterly basis, the percent of Illinois major dischargers without SNC violations is typically around 95%.In 2008, fortysix Illinois major dischargers had SNC violations.The enforcement response for majors in 2008 included 11 NCAs, 43 VNs, 36 CCAs, and 2 referrals to the Illinois Attorney General’s office for formal orders.”
ILLINOIS ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
DIVISION OF WATER POLLUTION CONTROL
Field Operations Headquarters 1FOS Section Manager Region 1 1Manager 4FOS Inspectors NPDES Permitted Facilities = 1,387 Region 2 1Manager 11FOS Inspectors NPDES Permitted Facilities = 5,459 Region 3 1Manager 2FOS Inspectors NPDES Permitted Facilities = 1,134 Region 4 1Manager 4FOS Inspectors NPDES Permitted Facilities= 1,204 Region 5 VacantManager 4FOS Inspectors NPDES Permitted Facilities = 729 Region 6 VacantManager 4FOS Inspectors NPDES Permitted Facilities = 1,095 Region 7 1Manager 5FOS Inspectors NPDES Permitted Facilities = 744
FIELD OPERATIONS SECTION
6
3
1
5
7
4
2
FOS Region 1
FOS Region 2
No Violation
FOS Region 3
Section 43 Referral
FOS Region 4
INSPECTIONS
Section 31 VN Requests Processed by 3 Environmental Specialists
Referral Request Processed by 5 Attorneys
Referral to Attorney General
Meeting
NIPLA
FOS Region 5
Compliance Agreement
Violation
Compliance Commitment Agreement
ACHIEVE COMPLIANCE
FOS Region 6
NonCompliance Advisories
FOS Region 7