Regulatory Agency Inspections Fact Sheet
Environmental and safety regulatory agencies may make unannounced inspections of University of Maryland facilities from time to time. Regulatory agencies generally have authority to enter public or private property connected with an activity governed by a permit or regulation. These regulatory agencies include: the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), the Maryland Department of Agriculture, Maryland Occupational Safety and Health (MOSH), the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), and the Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM). Inspections may be conducted for a variety of reasons, including: response to employee or community complaints, response to noncompliance activities, investigation of conditions related to pollutant discharge, records review, errors or violations in compliance reports, fact-finding in support of a permit application filed by a facility, periodic visits as mandated by Agency inspection procedures, etc.
Inspections typically include a facility or work area walk-through focused upon the work areas, records review, personnel interviews, measurements, tests, or sampling activities.
Applicable University Policy
V1-21.00(A) - University of Maryland Environmental, Safety and Health Management Policy
Agency inspections may result from any regulatory requirement under local, state, or Federal regulations.
Summary of Requirements
The following is a general summary of recommended actions for University of Maryland personnel involved in an environmental, safety, and health inspection.
If a regulatory agency visits a University of Maryland facility, the Compliance Officer or University of Maryland employee should:
- Identification: Verify the inspector's credentials upon arrival. Obtain, the name of the Agency, the name of the inspector(s), and telephone number of the inspector(s). Ask the inspector(s) to wait until a ESSR representative arrives. Call ESSR immediately.
- Notification: If the inspector(s) is not with a ESSR representative, immediately notify ESSR and the Departmental Compliance Officer that an inspection is about to begin or is already in progress.
- Pre-Inspection Meeting: Before an inspection begins, request a pre-inspection meeting if the inspector does not announce that a pre-inspection meeting is to be conducted, to determine the nature and extent of the inspection. The inspector(s) may wish to speak with a qualified person to clarify a technical issue, may wish to review records for a particular program, or may wish to visit operating areas of the facility to verify compliance with a regulatory requirement. Ask the inspector(s) to describe the purpose of the visit, the information that he/she must obtain, and the reason why the inspection is taking place. Depending on the area to be inspected, a union representative may be asked to attend the pre-inspection or opening conference.
- Health and Safety Procedures: Ensure that the inspector follows the safety procedures established for your work area (e.g., safety glasses, hearing protection, etc.). Do not allow entry into manholes, confined spaces, or high hazard areas (e.g., high voltage, etc.) without contacting ESSR.
- Closing Meeting: A closing meeting will either be held at the conclusion of the inspector's visit or at a later date after the regulatory agency has reviewed their findings. The Agency's findings, follow-up actions and any other decisions will be presented at this time. Depending on the area that was inspected, a union representative may be requested to attend the closing conference.
- Contacts: A ESSR representative will serve as the point of contact for any additional correspondence or further information requested by the inspector.
- Follow-up Report: A report should be written by the Compliance Officer or supervisor of the area inspected to be maintained in their departmental file. A copy of the report should be sent to ESSR. The report should detail the inspecting agency, the inspector name(s), nature and purpose of the visit, areas inspected, records that were reviewed or exchanged, sampling that was conducted and the results, personnel interviewed, any additional information provided by the inspector. ESSR will maintain and update the regulatory inspection database file.
The Department of Environmental Safety, Sustainability and Risk will maintain all official University records (e.g., official related correspondence, results, analyses, photographs, follow-up reports, corrective actions, etc.) generated as the result of a visit to the University of Maryland by an environmental or safety regulatory agency.
Department of Environmental Safety, Sustainability and Risk (301) 405-3960
ESSR Fax No. (301) 314-9294
ESSR Website: https://essr.umd.edu