The Compliance Inspections Branch houses all functions related to the compliance monitoring of sites and facilities currently engaged in hazardous waste management, the investigation and assessment of environmental problems related to abandoned hazardous substance sites, and all enforcement actions dealing with hazardous waste or hazardous substances.
How can I report environmental problems with waste management?
DEQ is committed to responding to public concerns and complaints relating to waste management. If you wish to discuss environmental problems or concerns about waste management, you may notify DEQ:
- By using the online concern/ complaint form
- Via telephone at 800-EARTH11 or by calling Hazardous Waste at 501-682-0833
- By email
How can I report a spill?
Notification of a spill or release is normally made to the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM) on Camp J. T. Robinson in North Little Rock (800-322-4012), which is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When the ADEM receives information about a petroleum product or hazardous material release, it notifies one of our Emergency Response members, one of whom is always on call. The manager and coordinator are both skilled in emergency response procedures and will immediately initiate actions to mitigate the effects of pollution and secure assistance from other agencies at all governmental levels and/or from private sources to control releases of contaminants.
DEQ does have an 800 telephone line, (800-327-8411 or 800-EARTH11), which is monitored by the Emergency Response Section. This is only for routine matters that are not time-sensitive, such as public access to information about DEQ programs and personnel. It also allows citizens to report any suspected violations of environmental laws, such as illegal dumping or air or water releases which could endanger the ecosystem. Please note that this number is not for emergency or time-critical notifications because it is not attended 24 hours a day. Use the ADEM number (800-322-4012) for emergencies.
Notification of a spill or release can also be made to The National Response Center (NRC), which is the sole federal point of contact for reporting oil and chemical spills. The NRC hotline number, 800-424-8802, operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
How does the hazardous waste branch calculate penalties?
Enforcement staff calculates penalties for violations using DEQ’s Uniform Penalty Policy, which is a procedure based on APC&EC Regulation 7. Hazardous waste penalties are addressed specifically in Section 6 of Regulation 7, which authorizes civil penalties up to $25,000 per violation per day. Section 9 of Regulation 7 details the factors to be used in calculating the penalty amount. Those factors include:
- Seriousness of the noncompliance
- Potential for harm resulting from the noncompliance
- Avoidability of the noncompliance
- Efforts to correct the noncompliance
- Violator's violation/management history
- Whether the act was intentional or an omission
- Whether the violator accrued an economic benefit or advantage as the result of the noncompliance
How do I qualify to do a supplemental environmental project in lieu of part of my penalty?
What is expedited enforcement?
When does a consent administrative order become effective?
Most Consent Administrative Orders become effective 30 days after the public notice date unless otherwise noted in the order.
Site Assessment Examples
While state and federal law require the reporting of new spills or releases of hazardous substances to the environment, Arkansas does not have a specific provision that requires the reporting of historic releases or contamination found on a particular property. However, during property transfer transactions, the new purchaser or lending institution may require that an environmental site assessment be conducted. Unless the land owner or prospective purchaser is seeking to participate in the Arkansas Voluntary Cleanup or Brownfield Program, there is no requirement to report or submit the results of such an assessment to the state.
If contamination is found, however, and no action is taken to address it, the landowner will likely be ineligible to take advantage of the Innocent Landowner defenses under CERCLA.
In many cases, financial and other lending institutions will require an environmental assessment on a specific property in the course of real estate transactions or use of the property as collateral for a loan or mortgage. In these cases, the property owner may take advantage of the Arkansas Voluntary Cleanup Program to investigate and address the extent of contamination in cooperation with DEQ.
All fresh or new spills or releases of hazardous wastes to the environment must be reported to DEQ, the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management, the community's Local Emergency Planning Committee, and the National Emergency Response Center within 24 hours of detection of the release.
DEQ files are open for public review during normal business hours, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, except on designated state holidays. The files are available for review on demand; however, an appointment is preferred so the materials will be ready upon your arrival. Central Records has three computers available for use by the public with information and documents ready for review. To schedule an appointment to review our records, please call 501-682-0005.
Central Records is located on the first floor of the DEQ headquarters at 5301 Northshore Drive, North Little Rock. Central Records is a repository principally for archived data; some documents may still be in active use. Items sill in active use will be made available for review as quickly as possible but no later than three working days after the request.
The electronic files can be organized by facility or environmental media so that you can narrow your search to relevant data.
Copies or data downloads will be made of specifically requested documents. In some instances, actual copying or electronic downloads may not be available the same day the material is reviewed but will be provided to you in a timely fashion. Copying and item charges are as follows: paper copies are five cents per page; electronic data downloaded to a disc is $1 per disc.