People often ask DEQ: how do you ensure facilities follow environmental laws? There are a lot of answers, but key parts are complaints, inspections and enforcement. This is the first of a two-part series that dives into the complaints and inspections process.
Lauren talks with the manager of the complaints system, a complaints inspector and two facility inspectors about how they receive complaints, find the source of pollution complaints, keep tabs on facilities that DEQ regulates and what happens when there is a violation.
The voices in the episode are:
- Bryan Smith, complaints manager.
- Bill Meyers, water quality complaints inspector.
- Mike Kennedy, stormwater permit writer and inspector.
- Justin Sterger, wastewater permit writer and inspector.
- Complaints program [3:25]
- Purpose, most common complaints, number of complaints per year
- The best way to submit complaints
- How DEQ responds to complaints [9:50]
- When do complaints tend to happen, how to track down sources of pollution
- How complaints lead to enforcement
- DEQ inspections for permitted facilities [17:20]
- How this is different than complaints inspections
- Announced vs. unannounced inspections
- Technical assistance [27:40]
- For complaints vs. for permitted facilities
- Wrap-up [32:35]