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Inspection/Evaluation definition

EPA and its regulatory partners conduct inspections under the majority of statutory and regulatory programs. Evaluations are conducted under the Clean Air Act rather than inspections. EPA issues inspection manuals, provides strategies and other guidance documents, and conducts training to insure uniform application of the law.


Inspections are defined as a visit to a facility or site (e.g., business, school, landfill) for the purpose of gathering information to determine compliance including direct observations of facility operations and/or conditions. Inspections generally include pre-inspection activities consisting of obtaining general site information prior to actually entering the facility or site. Examples of the types of activities conducted during the on-site visit include:

  • ·         interviewing facility or site representatives,
  • ·         reviewing records and reports,
  • ·         taking photographs,
  • ·         collecting samples, and
  • ·         observing facility or site operations.

Inspections are usually conducted on a single-media program such as the Clean Water Act, but can be conducted for more than one program (multi-media). Inspections also can be conducted to address a specific environmental problem (e.g., water quality in a specific river), a facility or industry sector (e.g., chemical plants), or a geographic (e.g., a specific region or locality) or ecosystem-based approach (e.g., air or watershed)."  For more information go to:


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