Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Compliance and Enforcement Summary - FFY 2012

Complete downloadable report (PDF) (104 kB, 16 pgs)

Introduction

This report provides an overview of the Division of Air Resources enforcement activities and compliance monitoring accomplishments during Federal Fiscal Year 2012 (FFY 2012). The FFY 2012 covers the period from October 1, 2011 through September 30, 2012. 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 all required reports, 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 2012, Department staff conducted over 1350 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 than 270 days 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 42 active HPVs in legal cases during FFY 2012. Of these active violations; 21 are holdovers from prior fiscal years and 21 are new cases initiated between October 1, 2011 and September 30, 2012. Of the 21 new HPV cases, ten have been addressed with consent orders.

One comparison of interest is the number of major sources in the state vs. the number of HPVs initiated in legal cases during FFY 2012. As of January 2013, there were 425 facilities on the major source facility class list in AFS and there were 21 new HPV cases (5%). Most of the violations were discovered as a result of inspections. However, violations were also discovered through alternative methods (i.e., annual Title V compliance certifications, quarterly excess emission reports, and stack tests.)

Enforcement Summary of Consent Orders (FFY 2012)

During FFY 2012, the Department collected $1,364,630 in payable penalties for air related cases at stationary sources through 125 orders on consent as per data collected from AFS. A total of $696,000 in payable penalties was assessed through 23 Consent Orders from legal cases with at least one HPV. The other 102 orders on consent were issued for a total of $668,630 in penalties. These non-HPV cases were generally at non-major sources and were for violations such as; dry cleaner requirements in Part 232, permit condition violations and failure to obtain registrations or permits.

Stack Test Program

One of the most effective ways of determining a facility's compliance with emission limits as well as actual source emissions is to conduct a stack test. There were more than 100 stack tests conducted in FFY 2012. Of the 96 stack tests recorded in AFS, five had violations.

Summary (FFY 2012)

  • Department staff inspected over 292 major facilities
  • Tracked FCEs, HPVs and corrective actions in the EPA-AIRS tracking system
  • Issued 23 orders on consent for HPV cases and 102 orders for non-HPV cases
  • Collected over $1.36 million in payable penalties for air enforcement cases
  • Identified 21 new HPVs as a result of compliance monitoring activities
  • Addressed 33 active high priority violations
  • Conducted more than 100 stack tests
  • Received, reviewed and logged over 430 Title V annual compliance certifications
  • Received and reviewed over 2500 certification and monitoring reports
  • Conducted 430 Full Compliance Evaluations (FCEs)

  • PDF Help
  • For help with PDFs on this page, please call 518-402-8403.
  • Contact for this Page
  • Division of Air Resources
    Bureau of Stationary Sources
    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12233-3254
    518-402-8403
    Send us an email
  • This Page Covers
  • Page applies to all NYS regions