By Donald Snemis, Ice Miller LLP
IDEM is proposing a new Non-rule Policy Document (NPD) regarding the rights of its inspectors and other staff members to access regulated facilities. MP-009-NPD will be presented to the Environmental Rules Board at its meeting on November 13, 2019. A few highlights of the policy are discussed in this article.
The policy provides that inspectors must present their credentials at the first possible opportunity, as required by the Indiana Code, but that inspectors shall not allow their credentials to be photocopied. The new NPD states that agency staff shall not sign any waiver of liability or confidentiality agreement as a condition of entry. However, the policy acknowledges that companies may make claims of confidentiality regarding information made available during inspections pursuant to existing statutes and regulations.
The policy acknowledges that, if asked, inspectors should wait a “reasonable” amount of time before being admitted to a site, but also provides that unreasonable wait times could constitute denial of access. The proposed NPD states that the inspector “will” provide the owner an oral report of any violations discovered, and that the inspector “will” send a written summary of the report within 45 days of the inspection.
A complete copy of the proposed NPD can be found here.
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