Prepare for an inspection

We inspect facilities to ensure they handle, store, and dispose of dangerous waste according to the Dangerous Waste Regulations.

Inspections are:

  • Unannounced.
  • Conducted during standard business hours. 

Learn how to prepare for an inspection and what to expect when one occurs.

What happens during an inspection?

When dangerous waste compliance inspectors arrive at your facility, they will ask for the contact person listed on your notification form or Dangerous Waste Annual Report.

If this person is unavailable, another staff member who is knowledgeable about dangerous waste at the facility will need to act as the backup in order to:

  • Explain the facility's processes that generate waste.
  • Explain how the facility has designated the wastes generated.
  • Explain how the facility's waste is stored and managed. 
  • Provide records required for your generator category, when requested.

What areas will be inspected?

Inspectors will tour the facility to check for compliance against the Dangerous Waste Regulations. The areas that inspectors typically look at are:

Inspectors may take photos to document violations or examples of proper dangerous waste management. These photos help inspectors write their inspection reports.

What happens after the inspection?

Inspectors may contact you with follow-up questions as they write their inspection reports to clarify observations or any other information from the inspection.

Inspection reports will include:

  • A narrative of the inspection.
  • A list of violations (if any were found).
  • Actions required to correct any violations (if any were found).
  • Concerns and suggestions.

What if your facility has violations? 

Once your facility receives the inspection report, you will have 30 days to:

  • Complete the actions required to correct any violations that were found.
  • Submit the following to us:
    • Supporting documentation that shows the violations were corrected.
    • A signed compliance certificate.

What is a significant non-complier (SNC)?

A significant non-complier (SNC) is a facility that meets one or more of the following criteria:

  • Has caused actual exposure, or a substantial likelihood of exposure, of dangerous waste or dangerous waste constituents to humans or the environment.
  • Is a chronic or recalcitrant violator.
  • Has violation(s) which deviate substantially from the conditions of a permit, order, agreement, or hazardous waste statutory or dangerous waste regulatory requirement. 

An SNC determination may result in:

  • More frequent dangerous waste compliance inspections.
  • Formal enforcement actions, such as administrative orders or civil penalties.

Your inspection report will indicate if your site is an SNC. You can also verify the status of your site through EPA’s Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO) or your inspector.

Frequently Asked Questions