New Mexico Environment Department Gets EPA Inspection Credentials
Formal credentials were recently issued to the New Mexico Environment Department to perform inspections on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency.
The credentials are for inspections conducted under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program. This program controls water pollution by regulating point sources that discharge pollutants into waters of the United States.
“The State of New Mexico has worked side-by-side with EPA for years to achieve our shared goal of ensuring clean, safe water for all of its residents,” said EPA Regional Administrator Richard E. Greene. “These credentials are meant to strengthen that partnership well into the future.”
Since its start in 1972, the NPDES permit program has been responsible for significant improvements to the nation's water quality. NMED staff will conduct compliance evaluation, compliance sampling, confined animal feeding operation, and stormwater inspections. The department plans to credential seven state inspectors who are expected to conduct more than 140 inspections.
"The credentials allow NMED to work directly with local governments, residents and other entities to ensure water quality is protected for the health of residents and the environment," said New Mexico Environment Department Secretary Ron Curry. "Our good relationship with EPA has allowed this process to flow smoothly."
Although NMED staff members have been conducting inspections for EPA for more than 12 years, the new, formal credentials are expected to increase the reach and scope of enforcement within the state. The credentials will result in more facilities being inspected, and NMED staff will have the authority to assess federal provisions not covered by state law.
More information on the NPDES program is available at http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/.
To learn more about activities in EPA Region 6, please visit http://www.epa.gov/region6/.
This article originally appeared in the 09/01/2007 issue of Environmental Protection.