What Does an Environmental Compliance Inspector Do?

Environmental Compliance Inspectors Inspect and investigate sources of pollution to protect the public and environment and ensure conformance with Federal, State, and local regulations and ordinances.

Typically, Environmental Compliance Inspectors perform these tasks every day:

    Analyze and implement state, federal or local requirements as necessary to maintain approved pretreatment, pollution prevention, and storm water runoff programs.

Most days, Environmental Compliance Inspectors perform these tasks:

    Prepare, organize, and maintain inspection records.

    Research and perform calculations related to landscape allowances, discharge volumes, production-based and alternative limits, and wastewater strength classifications, then make recommendations and complete documentation.

    Review and evaluate applications for registration of products containing dangerous materials, or for pollution control discharge permits.

    Inform health professionals, property owners, and the public about harmful properties and related problems of water pollution and contaminated wastewater.

    Evaluate label information for accuracy and conformance to regulatory requirements.

    Learn and observe proper safety precautions, rules, regulations, and practices so that unsafe conditions can be recognized and proper safety protocols implemented.

    Observe and record field conditions, gathering, interpreting, and reporting data such as flow meter readings and chemical levels.

    Research and keep informed of pertinent information and developments in areas such as EPA laws and regulations.

    Verify that hazardous chemicals are handled, stored, and disposed of in accordance with regulations.

    Determine sampling locations and methods, and collect water or wastewater samples for analysis, preserving samples with appropriate containers and preservation methods.

    Inspect waste pretreatment, treatment, and disposal facilities and systems for conformance to federal, state, or local regulations.

    Monitor follow-up actions in cases where violations were found, and review compliance monitoring reports.

    Prepare written, oral, tabular, and graphic reports summarizing requirements and regulations, including enforcement and chain of custody documentation.

    Interview individuals to determine the nature of suspected violations and to obtain evidence of violations.

    Examine permits, licenses, applications, and records to ensure compliance with licensing requirements.

    Determine the nature of code violations and actions to be taken, and issue written notices of violation; participate in enforcement hearings as necessary.

Other tasks that Environmental Compliance Inspectors perform include:

    Prepare data to calculate sewer service charges and capacity fees.

    Conduct research on hazardous waste management projects in order to determine the magnitude of problems, and treatment or disposal alternatives and costs.

    Maintain and repair materials, worksites, and equipment.

    Participate in the development of spill prevention programs and hazardous waste rules and regulations, and recommend corrective actions for hazardous waste problems.

    Perform laboratory tests on samples collected, such as analyzing the content of contaminated wastewater.

    Determine which sites and violation reports to investigate, and coordinate compliance and enforcement activities with other government agencies.

    Inform individuals and groups of pollution control regulations and inspection findings, and explain how problems can be corrected.

    Respond to questions and inquiries, such as those concerning service charges and capacity fees, or refer them to supervisors.

    Investigate complaints and suspected violations regarding illegal dumping, pollution, pesticides, product quality, or labeling laws.

Other Questions about Environmental Compliance Inspectors

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What Tools and Technologies Are Environmental Compliance Inspectors Using to Do Their Job?

X ray fluorescence XRF spectrometers

Wireline samplers

Wheaton dip samplers


Geographic information system GIS software

Salesforce software


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QWORK Editors
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What Skills Should an Environmental Compliance Inspector Have?

Reading Comprehension

Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Active Listening

Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Critical Thinking

Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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How Much Experience is Needed to Become an Environmental Compliance Inspector?

A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for this occupation. For example, a person in this occupation must complete four years of college and work for several years in industry to be considered qualified.

  • 85.71% said they needed a Bachelor's Degree.

  • 9.52% said they needed a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate.

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QWORK Editors
All The Questions About Work, Answered.
What Subjects Should I Study to Become an Environmental Compliance Inspector?

English Language

Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Law and Government

Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.


Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.

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