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For a Title V Federal Operating Permits, Deviation Reports and Permit Compliance Certifications for any six-month period must be submitted at least annually regardless if a deviation has occurred or not. Deviation must be reported during the period which they occur and are discovered. If there is an ongoing deviation, reasonable inquiry will determine the start date regardless of the report period. The Reasonable official certifies that the Deviation Report is truthful, accurate, and complete based on reasonable inquiry using the OP-CRO1 form. TCEQ doesn't define "reasonable inquiry." Examples of reasonable inquiry include not reporting a deviation that is clearly indicated from monitoring data or any other result of not complying with any permit term or condition and identified through reasonable inquiry would also result in a deviation for not reporting a deviation.

Reasonable Inquiry addresses the following issues:

  • Potential concerns in TCEQ Investigations (i.e. TCEQ audits and Section 114 requests)
  • Identification of Compliance Tasks Demonstration
  • Identification of potential Noncompliance (i.e. internal compliance audit)
  • Obtains an overview of available information (i.e. Location of Regulatory Documents)
  • Serves as a checklist during the deviation reporting period

In order to ensure all noncompliance is captured, an efficient reasonable inquiry process should be identified and implemented. A facility should identify current systems in place to track available information, identify applicable regulatory requirements, define/ assign the compliance task, define what needs to be done to demonstrate compliance, and identify what tools are in place to do reasonable inquiry.

Trinity has broken down the permit and the requirements incorporated by reference and put together a tool that goes through the requirements and documents where information supporting compliance would be located. This way, it is known that a facility has carried out a reasonable inquiry process. There are multiple ways to implement Reasonable Inquiry Tool. Useful applications include:

  • Excel - simple to complex tools using macros (i.e. visual basic for applications (VBA))
  • Access - running a script to evaluate compliance demonstration
  • Lotus Notes - tracking compliance/recordkeeping requirements
  • Personalized software tools which can be customized based on applicant's needs in order to track incidents and document compliance.
    • Intelex
    • Enablon
    • Essential Suites
    • OpsInfo

If you have any further questions about Deviation Reports or Reasonable Inquiry, the TCEQ Guidance is available here or contact Dasen Kendrick.