What happens during an inspection?
AQMD Inspectors are authorized to enter and inspect facilities pursuant to the provisions of California Health and Safety Code Section 41510. Upon entry, the Inspector presents proper AQMD identification, then informs a facility representative of the purpose and scope of the inspection and the procedures that will be followed. During this opening conference, Inspectors typically describe new requirements, fees (PDF, 300kb), or other issues related to compliance, and answer any preliminary questions before being escorted by the facility representative through the facility.
During the inspection itself, the Inspector looks to see if the proper permits (photocopies are acceptable) are posted near the equipment. Inspectors may ask the facility representative to describe the types of equipment at the facility, and how each type is used and maintained. All conditions, practices, and other relevant observations are noted, and those which are unusual or which may create problems are recorded and described in detail.
Inspectors frequently request copies of production or usage records, and may also take samples or photographs as appropriate to further support their observations of facility operations. Throughout the inspection, Inspectors explain the inspection process and respond within their ability and authority to questions raised by the facility representative.
The Inspector gathers any other information needed to complete the overall determination of compliance. Before leaving the facility, the Inspectors usually discuss their findings with facility representatives during a closing conference (post inspection), and later document these findings in written inspection reports.