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The Orange County Sanitation District (OCSD) is subject to a myriad of regulatory requirements including our ocean discharge permit, biosolids part 503 requirements, Federal Title V air permit, underground storage tank requirements, and hazardous waste disposal requirements. In order to track and manage compliance activities that are distributed across most of the District's departments, OCSD staff is in the initial phase of developing an Environmental Compliance Awareness Program (ECAP).

ECAP can be defined as a proactive program that enables all OCSD staff to have their “finger on the pulse” of compliance-related issues. The goal of the ECAP is to streamline OCSD's existing system by providing a central location where all up-to-date compliance status and permit information can be obtained easily and quickly. It will allow information sharing between departments and with management, identify staff responsible for areas of compliance, and help make staff aware of the importance of conformance to environmental policies, procedures and regulations. This will in turn result in providing staff ownership and help maintain compliance with the multiple permits and regulations that govern the operation of our treatment and collection facilities.

OCSD currently utilizes several software systems that have or may have the possibility of providing compliance information and may be integrated as part of the ECAP. After several brainstorming sessions with OCSD staff, the initial concept is to utilize a computerized mapping program, such as the Geographic Information System (GIS), that will include a database of regulatory compliance issues that will link structures with regulatory requirements, permit limits, and sampling results.

In order to determine what the “desired state” will look like for the ECAP, however, a needs assessment must be completed. The expected product of this needs assessment will be a detailed description of OCSD's current compliance program and desired future compliance program, alternatives for moving from the current compliance program to the desired future program, and a scope of work and implementation plan to achieve it. The result of this needs assessment will be a decision by OCSD regarding the feasibility of the ECAP and the methods and means for achieving the goals of this program.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2005

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