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Compliance and Enforcement Summary - FFY 2013

Complete downloadable report (PDF) (109 kB, 16 pgs)

This report provides an overview of the Division of Air Resources enforcement activities and compliance monitoring accomplishments during Federal Fiscal Year 2013 (FFY 2013). The FFY 2013 covers the period from October 1, 2012 through September 30, 2013. The purpose of compliance monitoring and enforcement is to maintain an adequate regulatory presence so as to provide a deterrent against non-compliance. Elements of a good compliance monitoring and enforcement program include on-site inspections, review of periodic monitoring reports, performance tests, compliance evaluations and tracking of compliance related activities. When violations are detected, an enforcement response is appropriate and may involve the assessment of penalties. The goal is to achieve compliance with all legal and regulatory requirements.

New York's enforcement program is based in the nine regional offices with support and guidance provided by the Central Office. Federal policy requires states to maintain lists of sources subject to federal Clean Air Act requirements, as well as dates and results of certain compliance activities including all High Priority Violations as defined by EPA policy. New York uses its Air Facility System (AFS) for tracking the compliance of air pollution sources, and for developing permits which provide facilities authority to operate.

A facility's compliance with permit requirements and air regulations is tracked in AFS, including inspections, full compliance evaluations, compliance certifications, stack tests, as well as any notices of violations and subsequent enforcement cases. Compliance and enforcement activities are tracked nationally in the EPA-Aerometric Information Retrieval System (AIRS) database. This data is required to be reported to the EPA-AIRS system and is periodically downloaded from the New York AFS system into batch files which are uploaded to AIRS.

Full Compliance Evaluations

EPA's Compliance Monitoring Strategy (CMS) of April 2001 set minimum standards for state air enforcement programs. The CMS policy requires state agencies to submit a CMS Plan once every two years. Each state must conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the compliance status for each facility targeted on its CMS plan. This "full compliance evaluation" (FCE) must include a review of monitoring data (continuous emission monitors and excess emission reports), Title V annual compliance certifications, appropriate inspections and any other reports required by the permit. Emphasis has been placed on Title V major sources and a limited subset of the largest synthetic minor sources, called SM-80s. SM-80s are facilities with permissible emissions from 80 to 99% of the major source thresholds.

Inspections

On site inspections are one of the main tools used in maintaining the Department's oversight of facilities compliance with air pollution control regulations. Inspections are also an important component of a full compliance evaluation. During FFY 2013, Department staff conducted over 1100 inspections of air pollution sources. Particular focus was given to inspecting major sources (facilities with actual or permitted emissions greater than Title V thresholds.)

EPA High Priority Violations

An integral part of New York's air pollution control program is the appropriate enforcement of state and federal regulations. Under the EPA-High Priority Violation (HPV) policy, the focus is on the most important and environmentally significant violations at major "Title V" sources of air pollution. The policy contains threshold criteria to determine whether or not a violation is an HPV and sets guidance for addressing cases in a timely and appropriate manner. High priority violations should be addressed within 270 days; however, the more complicated cases often take longer to resolve.

Penalties provide incentive to stay in compliance and take away some of the economic benefit that a firm may have enjoyed by not complying with state and federal regulations. There were 25 active HPVs in legal cases during FFY 2013. Of these active violations, 16 were holdovers from prior fiscal years and nine were new cases initiated between October 1, 2012 and September 30, 2013. Of the nine new HPV cases, four have been addressed with consent orders.

As of January 2014, there were nine new HPV cases entered into AFS out of the 411 facilities on the major source facility class list. Most of these HPV violations were discovered as a result of inspections; others were discovered through alternative methods (i.e., annual Title V compliance certifications, semi-annual monitoring reports, and stack tests).

Enforcement Summary of Consent Orders (FFY 2013)

During FFY 2013, the Department collected over $1.32 million in payable penalties for stationary source air related cases. These cases were resolved through 167 orders on consent as per data collected from AFS. Twelve (12) of these orders were for HPV cases where $570,435 was assessed in payable penalties. The other 155 orders on consent were issued for a total of $752,955 in penalties. These non-HPV cases were generally for non-major sources and were predominantly for permit condition violations, failure to obtain registrations or permits, and violations of the perchloroethylene dry cleaning regulation.

Stack Test Program

One of the most effective ways to verify actual source emissions and determine source compliance with emission limits is to conduct a stack test. There were more than 100 stack tests conducted in FFY 2013. Of the 117 stack tests recorded in AFS, five had violations.

Summary (FFY 2013)

  • Department staff inspected over 290 major facilities
  • Tracked FCEs, HPVs and corrective actions in the EPA-AIRS tracking system
  • Issued 12 orders on consent for HPV cases and 155 orders for non-HPV cases
  • Collected over $1.32 million in payable penalties for air enforcement cases
  • Identified nine new HPVs as a result of compliance monitoring activities
  • Addressed 18 active high priority violations
  • Issued 241 Notices of Violation and 87 Warning Letters
  • Required more than 100 stack tests
  • Received, reviewed and logged over 420 Title V annual compliance certifications
  • Received and reviewed over 2400 certification and monitoring reports
  • Conducted 399 Full Compliance Evaluations (FCEs)

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    Albany, NY 12233-3254
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