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Chicago Department of Public Health Air Pollution Enforcement Audit

Report Details

Report Description: 
OIG assessed how well the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) monitors facilities that pollute the air. We found that the CDPH was not meeting its internal air-quality inspection frequency goals and was not ensuring that facilities annually renew their required Certificates of Operation. Between 2015 and 2017, CDPH met its inspection frequency goal for only 17% of the facilities it intended to visit annually. In 2017, only 48% of the facilities in CDPH’s inspection and permit system obtained the required Certificate of Operation. CDPH agreed with OIG’s recommendations to strengthen its permit and inspection program by developing inspection priorities and goals based on factors such as public health data and violation patterns. The Department also agreed to develop a Certificate of Operation enforcement system that takes advantage of the Department’s current data to ensure facilities renew on time and pay the correct amount. We also found that CDPH did not ensure that violations identified by inspectors were corrected. Of the 30 violation warnings the Department issued from September 2017 to September 2018, we found that 12 went unresolved. The Department agreed with OIG’s recommendation to adjust its process to ensure that violation warnings are monitored by supervisors and addressed by inspectors in a timely manner.
Short / Alternative Report Title: 
Chicago Department of Public Health Air Pollution Enforcement Audit
Date Issued: 
Monday, September 16, 2019
Agency Reviewed / Investigated: 
Submitting OIG-Specific Report Number: 
Chicago, IL
United States
Type of Report: 
Professional Standard: 
GAO's Yellow Book, Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards (GAGAS)
Questioned Costs: 
Funds for Better Use: 
Number of Recommendations: 

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