Next Generation Compliance, commonly referred to as Next Gen, was introduced in October of 2014. The program incorporates an integrated strategy for regulatory structure and permitting, as well as monitoring and submitting information electronically. The idea is that Next Gen will assist the EPA and state agencies in addressing how to effectively ensure that facilities comply with regulations, environmental laws and better inform the community about activities that may affect the environment.
There are five key parts to Next Gen that all overlap to provide an even playing field for regulatory compliance.
- Regulations and Permits: The objective is to develop more effective regulations and permits with Next Gen principles and tools to achieve better compliance. For example, self-reinforcing drivers are implemented to allow facilities to monitor their own performance.
- Advanced Monitoring: The objective is to give facilities the ability to utilize existing technologies more effectively and use new technologies to identify potential pollution concerns. For example, using infrared cameras to identify volatile organic compound leaks from storage tanks. The EPA will be promoting advanced technologies by working with other offices like the Office of Research and Development or the Office of Air and Radiation.
- Electronic Reporting: To comply with the Paperwork Reduction Act and as part of the E-Enterprise Initiative, all air toxics, greenhouse data and other reportable information will be submitted electronically. This should create more accurate, complete, and timely information on pollution sources, pollution, and compliance.
- Expanded Transparency: The electronic reporting aspect will assist facilities in providing information regarding pollution releases, pollution sources, environmental conditions and performance of regulated sources to the public. The public will have access to user friendly data formats regarding neighboring facilities.
- Innovative Enforcement: Enforcement will be strengthened with a combination of the other aspects of Next Gen, better technology and lessons learned. The EPA would prefer to see companies spend money on advanced leak-detection systems and new procedures, instead of paying severe fines.
Facilities should expect future changes of industry to align with Next Gen. Additionally, expect fines to paid out in terms of facility advancements, in addition to monetary payments.
Need to make sure that your facility is in compliance? Call SRP to schedule a consultation. Reach our corporate office at (318) 222-2364 or visit us online. We have seven convenient locations in Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, Honolulu, Midland, Shreveport and Pittsburgh.