Independently of the obligation of a plant operator for self-monitoring, the construction and operation of plants are subject to monitoring by the competent authorities (§§ 52 to 52b BImSchG). For this purpose, the representatives and agents of the monitoring authorities have the right to enter the plants, to carry out inspections and to obtain information.
The intensity of monitoring by the authorities depends on the potential environmental risk posed by the respective plant. Plants that may cause particularly harmful environmental effects are covered by the European Industrial Emissions Directive (IE Directive) and are subject to particularly close monitoring pursuant to Section 52a (3) of the Federal Immission Control Act (so-called IE plants).
The plants themselves may have to appoint immission control and/or incident officers (§§ 53 to 58d BImSchG). Further details are regulated by the Ordinance on Immission Protection and Major Accidents Officers (5th BImSchV).
Safety inspections and inspections of safety-related documents may be ordered in accordance with § 29a BImSchG.
Violations of applicable regulations can be administrative offenses (§ 62 BImSchG) or criminal offenses (§§ 324 - 330d StGB).
These inspections are to be carried out by measuring points that have been announced in accordance with § 29b BImSchG. The special requirements for measuring points and for the announcement procedure are contained in the Announcement Ordinance (41st BImSchV). In Bavaria, the State Office for the Environment carries out these announcements and also provides a list on the Internet.