EPA: testing vaivers/protocolsgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
I was wondering when the EPA would say something about this.
Hallyx -------------------------------------------------------------------------- EarthVision Reports 03/16/99
WASHINGTON, March 16, 1999 The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a policy that says if a company tests its Y2K readiness and a violation occurs, it will waive any and all penalties associated with the test. Called the Y2K Enforcement Policy, EPA's is looking to encourage companies and facilities to promptly test their computer-related equipment, such as monitoring and pollution control devices, to ensure that environmental compliance is not impaired by Y2K computer problems. In addition to waiving 100 percent of the civil penalties that would apply, the federal agency will also recommend against any criminal prosecution for any environmental violation caused during specific tests designed to identify and eliminate Y2K-related malfunctions. The policy applies to testing-related violations disclosed to EPA by Feb. 1, 2000. The penalty waiver and recommendation against criminal prosecution are subject to certain conditions however. For example, the regulated entity should design and conduct tests well before certain dates, such as 9/9/99 and 1/1/00; conduct the tests for the shortest possible time period; correct any testing-related violations immediately; and take other steps to ensure that protection of human health and the environment are not compromised. Additional information is available from EPA's Year 2000 website. Source: EPA Associated Link: EPA 2000
-- Hallyx (Hallyx@aol.com), March 17, 1999
I guess it's better to have any environmental problems spread out over the next nine months, than to have them all happen at once next year. Still not a good thing though. <:)=
-- Sysman (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 17, 1999.
The full text of EPA's policy can be found at:
This is a good thing. EPA has created real economic incentive for the chemical industry and other regulated companies to prepare for y2k. The waiver of civil and criminal enforcement action does NOT apply if the testing resulted in "potentially imminent and substantial endangerment...or serious actual harm". For violations that occur following rollover, there will be no consideration of leniency whatsoever unless at a minimum there was extensive pre-rollover testing and contingency planning. The company will be held fully responsible even for problems beyond its control, like power and vendors. In my state (Massachusetts), the state environmental agency and the greater Boston sewage treatment plant have also adopted similar policies.
"1.Systematic Design of Testing Protocols. The testing protocols were designed in advance of the testing period, and they reflect a conscientious effort to evaluate the facility's Y2K-related environmental compliance status and not to circumvent environmental compliance. [Note: conscientious effort means that the company must look outside its walls to trade associations or other sources of what a state-of-the-art testing protocol would be for that type of company.]
2.Violations Caused By Testing. The specific Y2K-related testing was the direct and proximate cause of the potential violations.
3.Testing Need, Timing & Length. The specific testing that caused the potential violations was:
(a) necessary to determine the effectiveness of specific Y2K-related modifications in ensuring environmental compliance;
(b) part of a comprehensive testing program designed to correct all Y2K deficiencies at the facility;
(c) conducted well in advance of the Y2K dates in question (i.e., normally at least 30 days in advance of the dates in question); and
(d) conducted for the shortest possible period of time in order to determine the effectiveness of such modifications, not to exceed a testing period of 24 hours in duration.
Where a facility, without making any modifications, tests existing equipment in order to determine whether Y2K-related problems may affect its environmental compliance status, the specific testing was:
(e) necessary to determine the effectiveness of its existing operations in ensuring environmental compliance;
(f) part of a comprehensive testing program designed to correct all Y2K-related deficiencies at the facility;
(g) conducted well in advance of the Y2K dates in question (i.e., normally at least 30 days in advance of the dates in question); and
(h) conducted for the shortest possible period of time in order to ascertain the effectiveness of its existing operations in ensuring environmental compliance, not to exceed a testing period of 24 hours in duration.
4.Absence of Harm. The violations that may have occurred during testing did not result in creation of a potentially imminent and substantial endangerment (as EPA defines such threats under its RCRA ' 7003 policies, or serious actual harm. Notwithstanding any civil penalty waivers or recommendations against criminal prosecution that may be appropriate under this policy, EPA retains its authority to seek any injunctive relief that it deems necessary, regardless of the level of harm, potential harm, or lack thereof.
5.Immediate Correction. All violations ceased at the end of the test or were corrected immediately thereafter (within 24 hours).
6.Expeditious Remediation. The facility expeditiously remediated, as specified by EPA, any releases or other adverse health or environmental consequences.
7.Reporting. The facility has met in a timely fashion all legal requirements for reporting the violations (e.g., CERCLA ' 103). Where the violations are not legally required to be reported, the facility nevertheless reported the violations to EPA as expeditiously as practicable under the circumstances (ordinarily no more than 30 days after when the violations occurred absent unusual circumstances justifying a longer period), but in all cases no later than February 1, 2000.
8.Retesting. Any retesting conducted prior to the Y2K dates in question meets all the criteria outlined in this policy and includes modifications to earlier testing and/or operating conditions that are reasonably designed to achieve full compliance.
9.Cooperation. The facility provides any information requested by EPA as necessary to determine whether a 100% penalty waiver or recommendation against criminal prosecution is appropriate, consistent with the facility's legitimate legal rights and privileges."
-- Brooks (email@example.com), March 17, 1999.
According to the Senate report this is also the case for water treatment facilities. Might want to get your filter now...
-- Shimrod (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 17, 1999.