Missed project deadlines, slowed productivity, and potential fines. If you manage or are responsible for the environmental compliance at a facility, you can understand how easily one can run into these hurdles. The sheer number of regulations on a federal, state, and local level, keeping up with regulatory changes and understanding the applicability of these regulations can prove to be a burden for even the most seasoned of environmental professionals.
Many facilities lack an effective environmental compliance program because compliance is often regarded as a priority only when preparing for an audit or after receiving an enforcement action from a regulatory body. Management may not know where to begin in implementing a compliance program, much less know how to establish a streamlined and centrally organized program.
In our experience, it is not uncommon to adopt a piecemeal approach to compliance tasks to meet permit conditions or reporting deadlines. Unfortunately, this approach can allow more things to easily fall through the cracks, which can lead to violations and enforcement. A systematic compliance program approach not only avoids risks and lessens environmental impact, but contributes to a productive, healthy, and sustainable business.
The first step is to catalog all your permits and permit requirements in order to decide what type of compliance program works best for your facility. Regulations and permit requirements differ for every facility, and therefore, each facility’s compliance programs will be entirely different. So, where do we go from there? In part 2 of this blog series, we will expand upon the fundamentals for a successful compliance program including established processes and procedures, program oversight, facility-wide organization and training, data collection, and more.
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