6111.05 Investigation of alleged act of pollution or failure to comply.

The director of environmental protection, on the director's own initiative, may investigate or make inquiries into any alleged act of pollution or failure to comply with this chapter or any order, any rule, the terms and conditions of a permit, or any other determination pursuant thereto. However, upon written complaint by any person, the director shall conduct any investigations and make any inquiries that are required.

The director or the director's duly authorized representative may enter at reasonable times upon any private or public property to inspect and investigate conditions relating to pollution of any air of the state or land located in the state related to the use, storage, treatment, or disposal of sludge or sludge materials or pollution of any waters of the state, inspect any monitoring equipment, inspect the drilling, conversion, or operation of any injection well, and sample any discharges, including discharges by "industrial users" into a publicly owned "treatment works" as those terms are defined in sections 212 and 502 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, and may apply to the court of common pleas having jurisdiction for a warrant permitting the entrance and inspection.

Any authorized representative of the director at reasonable times may examine any records or memoranda pertaining to sludge management, the operation of disposal systems, the drilling, conversion, or operation of injection wells, or discharges by "industrial users" into publicly owned "treatment works" as defined in sections 212 and 501 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act. The director may require the maintenance of records relating to sludge management, discharges, or the operation of disposal systems or injection wells. The director may make copies of the records. Any authorized representative of a publicly owned "treatment works" may enter at reasonable times upon the premises of any "industrial user" that discharges into the works to inspect any monitoring equipment or method of the user, to sample any discharges of the user into the works, or to inspect any records or memoranda pertaining to discharges by the user into the works, in order to ascertain compliance by the user with applicable pretreatment standards. The representative may make copies of the records. Any records, reports, or information obtained under this chapter shall be available for public inspection, except that:

(A) Upon a showing satisfactory to the director by any person that the records, reports, or information, or any particular part thereof, other than data concerning the amounts or contents of discharges or the quality of the receiving waters, to which the director has access under this chapter, if made public would divulge information entitled to protection as trade secrets of the person, the director shall consider the record, report, or information or particular portion thereof confidential. Prior to divulging any alleged trade secret information pursuant to this division, the director shall give ten days' written notice to the person claiming trade secrecy.

(B) The record, report, or information may be disclosed to other officers, employees, or authorized representatives of the state, another state, or the United States when necessary to sustain an action brought pursuant to this chapter or during an adjudication hearing or when otherwise necessary to fulfill any requirement of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act.

No person to whom a permit has been issued shall refuse entry to any authorized representative of the director or willfully hinder or thwart the representative in the exercise of any authority granted by this section.

The director or the director's authorized representative, or, where necessary to monitor compliance with pretreatment standards, the authorized representative of a publicly owned "treatment works," may apply for, and any judge of a court of common pleas may issue, a warrant necessary to achieve the purposes of this chapter.

Effective Date: 03-17-2000