Achieving VOC Compliance from Department of Defense Contractor
MEMORANDUM April 24, 1985
SUBJECT: Achieving VOC Compliance from Department of Defense Contractor
Stationary Source Compliance Division
Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards
TO: Air and Waste Management Division Directors
Regions II and VI
Air Management Division Directors
Regions I, III, V, and IX
Air, Pesticides, and Toxics Management Division Director
Air and Toxics Division Directors
Regions VII, VIII, and X
This memorandum is to inform you of the results of a recent meeting
between my staff, OECM's Air Enforcement Division, EPA's Office of Federal
Activities and the Environmental Policy Directorate, Department of Defense.
The meeting was held in response to questions from several Regions about
enforcing VOC emission limitations at stationary sources producing goods or
services under contract with the Department of Defense ( DOD ). The
questions centered on the issue of responsibility, and DOD's position
concerning the accountability of its contractors for compliance with VOC
regulations in a SIP. We also wanted to elucidate DOD's role and
responsibility as a Federal agency for compliance with applicable
A number of interesting clarifications were disclosed at this meeting.
These warrant discussion because they play a vital role in the position we
will recommend in dealing with air violations at facilities which have
contracts with DOD. First, in order to better understand DOD and contractor
relationships, certain terminology needs to be defined.
There are at least three different types of DOD facilities subject to
* Government Owned Government Operated ( GOGO ) facilities.
* Government Owned Contractor Operated ( GOCO ) facilities.
* Contractor Owned Contractor Operated ( COCO ) facilities.
The GOGO facility is the traditional Federal facility such as an air force
base where the government owns and operates all the regulated activity. The
GOCO facility is one that is owned by DOD but all or portions of it are
operated by private contractors(s). The COCO facility is a non-government
owned, privately operated facility that provides goods or services to DOD
under contract. Many thousands of sources fall onto the COCO category since
DOD estimates they do "business" with a majority of the manufacturing
facilities in the country.
Given these terms, I believe it has been the contractors operating
government owned facilities ( GOCO ) that have raised with States and
Regions pleas of alleged immunity based on contracts with DOD. It is these
facilities that are the focus of this memorandum. Attachment I is a
nonexclusive list of Air Force and Navy GOCO facilities of potential
concern. It was supplied by the Office of Federal Activities. A similar
list of Army GOCO facilities will be forwarded under separate cover.
The main findings of our meeting are:
* The standard contract DOD has with contractors includes a clause
requiring compliance with "all environmental laws" or language to that
effect. This negates the so-called immunity these sources claim they
have. Regions and States should seek out this contract language
should the need warrant.
* Responsibility for compliance with environmental requirements lies
with the contractor and the regulatory agencies. DOD does not
actively seek to find violations of the "environmental law" language
in their contracts, even though all GOCO facilities have a DOD
representative on site. This individual would become involved and
actively seek to resolve any environmental problem once brought to his
or her attention.
* DOD closely monitors activity to resolve environmental problems once a
formal Federal or State action ( such as a NOV ) is initiated. This
involvement by DOD has been mostly focused on violations at GOGO
facilities. In the future, DOD will monitor formal actions initiated
by EPA or the State at GOCO facilities.
* DOD and OFA, through their Headquarters staff or Regional Federal
Facility Coordinators ( See Attachment II ), are available to assist
EPA in any problems it faces in resolving environmental problems at
DOD facilities, including those operated by contractors. A good rule
of thumb is that DOD will support the regulatory agency when a
violation is clearly documented and a formal action is initiated.
As a result of this meeting, SSCD recommends a Region or States, upon a
finding of violation at a DOD contractor facility ( GOCO ), issue a Notice
of Violation ( or equivalent ) to the operator of the facility as would be
done with any other stationary source, with copies to the DOD representative
at the facility, and the Regional Federal Facility Coordinator. Receipt of
these copies should trigger interest and involvement by OFA and DOD to
assist in resolving the violation in a timely manner. Simultaneous with any
DOD and OFA involvement, the issuing regulatory agency should follow up with
the operator to whom the NOV was issued in the usual manner to resolve the
This memorandum has been concurred in by the Office of Federal
Activities and OECM's Air Enforcement Division. If you have any questions
about the meeting or the recommended approach, please call me or John Rasnic
( FTS-382-2826 ).
Edward E. Reich
cc: Air Program Branch Chiefs
Air Compliance Branch Chiefs
Regions II, III, V and IX
VOC Compliance Workgroup Members
Associate Enforcement Counsel for Air
Gerald Emison, Director
Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards
Allan Hirsh, Director
Office of Federal Activities
Federal Facility Coordinators
OMITTED TEXT: Attachment A-1; Attachment A-2; Attachment A-3; Attachment II
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