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Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

Performance Audit of the Wastewater Facilities Program Administered by the Department of Environmental Protection , Report No. 12199, December 1993

  • The Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) predominate use of reconnaissance inspections, which do not test facilities' effluent, coupled with a small number of inspections that do test effluent quality, limit its ability to ensure that wastewater facilities' effluent are meeting water quality standards.
  • The majority of DEP's enforcement actions were informal and typically related to minor facility violations. However, when formal enforcement actions (consent orders) were initiated, it took DEP a median time of 41.5 months from the time it discovered a serious violation until it officially closed the case. There was also a lack of documentation of follow-up activities conducted by DEP to ensure that provisions of consent orders were being met by the violating facilities.
  • The Department currently conducts little or no oversight of locally delegated wastewater program activities. The Department has delegated wastewater regulation to 12 local pollution control programs as authorized by Florida Statutes. In addition to lack of formal oversight, written delegation agreements between DEP and local governments are general in nature and do not specify what compliance and enforcement activities should be carried out by the local governments.
  • The Groundwater Pollution Source Management System and the Compliance and Enforcement Tracking System, two of the Department's primary information data systems for compliance and enforcement aspects of the Wastewater Program, have deficiencies that limit their usefulness to Department managers and staff.

    Copies of this report in print or alternate accessible format may be obtained by telephone (850/488-0021), by FAX (850/487-9213), in person, or by mail (OPPAGA Report Production, Claude Pepper Building, Room 312, 111 W. Madison St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1475).
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