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Environmental Compliance Inspectors Career

Career Description

Inspect and investigate sources of pollution to protect the public and environment and ensure conformance with Federal, State, and local regulations and ordinances.

What Job Titles Environmental Compliance Inspectors Might Have

  • Enforcement Officer
  • Environmental Compliance Officer
  • Environmental Specialist
  • Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Enforcement Officer (RCRA Enforcement Officer)

What Environmental Compliance Inspectors Do

  • Examine permits, licenses, applications, and records to ensure compliance with licensing requirements.
  • Prepare written, oral, tabular, and graphic reports summarizing requirements and regulations, including enforcement and chain of custody documentation.
  • Determine the nature of code violations and actions to be taken, and issue written notices of violation; participate in enforcement hearings as necessary.
  • Prepare, organize, and maintain inspection records.
  • Verify that hazardous chemicals are handled, stored, and disposed of in accordance with regulations.
  • Interview individuals to determine the nature of suspected violations and to obtain evidence of violations.
  • Research and keep informed of pertinent information and developments in areas such as EPA laws and regulations.
  • Learn and observe proper safety precautions, rules, regulations, and practices so that unsafe conditions can be recognized and proper safety protocols implemented.
  • Monitor follow-up actions in cases where violations were found, and review compliance monitoring reports.
  • Inspect waste pretreatment, treatment, and disposal facilities and systems for conformance to federal, state, or local regulations.
  • Investigate complaints and suspected violations regarding illegal dumping, pollution, pesticides, product quality, or labeling laws.
  • Evaluate label information for accuracy and conformance to regulatory requirements.
  • Determine sampling locations and methods, and collect water or wastewater samples for analysis, preserving samples with appropriate containers and preservation methods.
  • Inform individuals and groups of pollution control regulations and inspection findings, and explain how problems can be corrected.
  • Review and evaluate applications for registration of products containing dangerous materials, or for pollution control discharge permits.
  • Observe and record field conditions, gathering, interpreting, and reporting data such as flow meter readings and chemical levels.
  • Determine which sites and violation reports to investigate, and coordinate compliance and enforcement activities with other government agencies.
  • Inform health professionals, property owners, and the public about harmful properties and related problems of water pollution and contaminated wastewater.
  • Participate in the development of spill prevention programs and hazardous waste rules and regulations, and recommend corrective actions for hazardous waste problems.
  • Analyze and implement state, federal or local requirements as necessary to maintain approved pretreatment, pollution prevention, and storm water runoff programs.
  • Prepare data to calculate sewer service charges and capacity fees.
  • Perform laboratory tests on samples collected, such as analyzing the content of contaminated wastewater.
  • Maintain and repair materials, worksites, and equipment.
  • Research and perform calculations related to landscape allowances, discharge volumes, production-based and alternative limits, and wastewater strength classifications, then make recommendations and complete documentation.

What Environmental Compliance Inspectors Should Be Good At

  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Flexibility of Closure - The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.

What Environmental Compliance Inspectors Should Be Interested In

  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

What Environmental Compliance Inspectors Need to Learn

  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.