Navigating this new world due to COVID-19 has been a challenge to everyone, including Ohio EPA. To protect against the potential spread of COVID-19 while maintaining their mission to ensure compliance with environmental laws and regulations, Ohio EPA is piloting the use of virtual site visits (VSVs) for select categories of inspections (e.g., routine, screening, non-enforcement). The first step in the process will be a pre-meeting conducted by Ohio EPA via phone/video conference to discuss logistics and necessary equipment. The actual inspection will be accomplished virtually, using a life streaming application in combination with photographs. During the virtual facility walk-through portion of the inspection, the facility contact will walk the Ohio EPA inspector through areas of the facility normally inspected using a camera phone connected to the internet. Ohio EPA has prepared a one-page document providing an overview of the process, which, at the time of publication of this article, had not been posted on the Ohio EPA website. We plan to include a newsletter article summarizing a VSV experience in the upcoming months, so keep a lookout! In the meantime, for more information contact Lindsay Johnson or Nick Petruzzi.
Lindsay Johnson is an Engineer with Cox-Colvin & Associates, Inc. and has been an employee since September 2017. She received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Ohio University in 2016. She previously worked in Little Rock, Arkansas as a permit writer for the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality where she grew a passion for the environmental field. She is thrilled to be a part of Cox-Colvin & Associates, Inc. and hopes to bring a regulatory perspective to the team.