As a business owner, staying up-to-date on all the latest compliance regulations is important. Failing to do so could result in hefty fines or even jail time. One of the most important areas to stay compliant with is environmental law.
Businesses need to be aware of various environmental laws, including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. These laws have different requirements, but some general maintenance tips can help any business stay compliant.
To help you out, we’ve put together a list of essential business maintenance tips to keep you compliant with environmental laws.
1. Conduct Regular Audits
One of the best ways to ensure compliance is to conduct regular audits of your company’s operations. These audits should be performed by an independent third party and cover all aspects of your company’s environmental impact. Some things that should be included in an audit are emissions, waste management, and water usage. These audits will help you identify areas where you need to improve.
An audit will involve a review of your company’s policies and procedures, as well as on-site inspections. After the audit, you’ll receive a report detailing any areas of non-compliance. This report will be invaluable in helping you make the necessary changes to ensure compliance.
2. Implement Pollution Prevention Measures
One of the best ways to avoid environmental violations is to implement pollution prevention measures at your facility. This might include installing efficient lighting and HVAC systems, using green building materials, and recycling/reusing waste products. These measures can decrease your company’s overall environmental impact and reduce the likelihood of violating environmental regulations.
One of the most polluting areas of any commercial structure is the plumbing and waste management system. Septic tanks where grease and other liquids are stored can leak and pollute groundwater if not properly maintained. To prevent this, you should hire septic tank cleaning services regularly. They will remove grease and other liquid buildups, reducing the risk of septic tank failure and pollution.
3. Get Insured
Another way to protect your business from the financial fallout of an environmental violation is to purchase environmental insurance. This type of insurance will cover the costs of any clean-up or remediation that may be required due to an accident or spill at your facility. It’s essential to have this coverage in place before an incident occurs, as it can be very difficult (and expensive) to obtain after the fact.
Some companies choose to self-insure by setting aside money in a reserve fund to cover the cost of environmental accidents. While this can be a viable option for some businesses, it’s important to ensure you have enough money to cover the full cost of a clean-up. Otherwise, you could be left with a hefty bill and a damaged reputation.
4. Dispose of Hazardous Waste Properly
Hazardous waste disposal is one of the most regulated areas of environmental law. Strict rules and regulations govern hazardous waste storage, transportation, and disposal. Failing to comply with these regulations can result in significant fines. It can also be dangerous, as improper disposal of hazardous waste can contaminate water supplies and pose a risk to human health.
To ensure compliance, it’s essential to have a waste management plan in place that outlines how you will store, transport, and dispose of hazardous waste. This plan should be reviewed and updated regularly to ensure it complies with the latest regulations. Many companies hire a hazardous waste disposal company to handle this process for them.
5. Educate Your Employees
Finally, every person in your company should be aware of the environmental regulations that apply to your business. Employees should know what they can and can’t do to avoid violating these regulations. They should also know what to do in an accident or spill. If your employees are properly educated on environmental regulations, they can help you avoid costly mistakes.
You can educate your employees by holding training sessions on environmental compliance. You can also distribute handouts and posters that remind employees of the specific regulations that apply to your business. By making environmental compliance a part of your company culture, you can help ensure that your business remains in compliance with all applicable laws.
By following these essential business maintenance tips, you can help ensure compliance with environmental laws. Doing so will help protect your business from monetary penalties, legal trouble, and reputational damage. You’ll also be doing your part to protect the environment. If you have questions about environmental compliance, talk to your local environmental regulator or an attorney specializing in environmental law.