Recently, Baron assisted a client with their Discharge Prevention Containment and Countermeasure (DPCC) renewal as part of the Discharges of Petroleum and Other Hazardous Substances (DPHS) rules enforced by the NJDEP.
As Baron has mentioned on this blog in the past, the NJDEP has, in recent years, changed their procedure with regard to the plan and facility inspections. Where in the past, a facility would be inspected on an annual basis and the plan would be reviewed triennially, they have since moved to combine both inspections to one, triennial schedule coinciding with the plan renewal.
The first step of this process involves a technical review of the DPCC and Discharge Cleanup and Removal (DCR) Plans with a representative from NJDEP. The second aspect involves a walk though of the facility to confirm that it is adhering to the outlines of its written plan. Having now been through several of these plan renewals, we have noticed a pattern in the timing of these inspections. Typically, the plan review is completed in one visit, and the facility walkthrough is scheduled for a visit approximately two weeks after this.
During the first step of this audit, the plan was reviewed by going through the technical deficiency notes (sent ahead of time by the DEP Plan Reviewer). It can be noted, that some DEP representatives are very particular about the formatting and diction of the plan. The importance of keeping up to date with facility contacts was emphasized because of recent promotions at the company. Additionally, the need for a flow chart outlining the Emergency Response Chain of Command was stressed as being necessary, beyond just a list of contacts. It was also emphasized in the meeting that the facility should keep up with the emergency response drills and make sure the emergency response drills are varied scenarios (tabletop drills will not suffice every year).
The DEP representative also appreciated record keeping documents in hard copy at the time of the meeting, because it allowed the meeting to move along more efficiently. If any documentation cannot be presented at the time of the first meeting, the facility will be given until the time of the next visit to present it to the DEP. If it cannot be produced by then, the facility will be subject to violations.
Fortunately, this inspection passed with little to no obstacles. Following the departure of the inspector, Baron personnel stayed behind to discuss with the facility the pertinent steps to follow up with so the second half of the inspection can go by just as smoothly.