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Alternate Enforcement Procedure  

Does anyone like sending or receiving a notice of violation? Probably not. A notice often signals the start of a lengthy, sometimes contentious process. The Air Quality Enforcement, Compliance, and Technical Resources and Training sections jointly developed an alternative procedure that under certain circumstances can simplify and streamline the air quality enforcement process. Their intent is to promote cooperation between the regulated community and DEQ, and to achieve timely resolution of noncompliance matters.

When a compliance evaluation is conducted at a facility, a report is generated detailing the findings. The final report is sent to the company along with a summary of noncompliance issues. A cover letter is attached to the report with that summarizes the noncompliance issues found during the evaluation. The company is requested to submit a compliance plan within thirty (30) calendar days from receipt of the report. If the company would like to schedule a meeting to discuss the alternative enforcement process, they are requested to do so within ten (10) calendar days from receipt of the report. This option may be withdrawn if a compliance plan is not received within thirty days.

If the company found factual errors in the DEQ report, these may be pointed out within the compliance plan or a separate report to be attached to the inspection memorandum, but the alternate procedure does not include a dispute of issues. A company wishing to dispute allegations of noncompliance, rule or statute interpretations must use the traditional enforcement procedure. This opens the possibility that a formal notice of violation may be issued.

Under the alternate procedure, if DEQ approves the company's compliance plan, the case will be tracked until all noncompliance issues are resolved, after which the case will be closed. An enforcement conference and penalties may still be required, when appropriate. Resolution of noncompliance issues may be outlined and addressed in a consent order. The alternate option reflects the collective goal of DEQ and the regulated community: full and prompt compliance and a healthy environment for the people of Oklahoma.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact Rick Groshong, Environmental Manager, Compliance and Enforcement Group, at (405) 702-4100.

Page Last Updated: August 26, 2015


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