Question #1 – Is your business or facility subject to environmental enforcement inspections? In most cases, you would be kidding yourself if you answered “No” to this question. This is especially true if your facility has any type of environmental permit – air emissions, stormwater, etc. You can expect to be inspected at some point during the applicability of that permit.
Question #2 – If your business or facility is subject to an environmental inspection, are you ready? Hopefully the answer to that question is “Yes”, but if not, the following are a few basic considerations for being prepared should a regulator pay a visit.
Ensure an individual (and a backup, if possible) is assigned responsibility for managing environmental compliance and being on point for any regulatory inspection. The identified staff member should be familiar with your operations, environmental management plans, record-keeping procedures, etc. And importantly, they should be properly trained.
Have all of your regulatory paperwork (e.g., permits, spill-response plans, inspection or monitoring reports, training records, etc.) in order and secured, but accessible. Being able to access a permit or a plan quickly when a regulator asks for it goes a long way in first impressions. You will demonstrate you are organized and take compliance seriously.
3. Good Housekeeping.
This too goes a long way in first impressions. When an inspector sees a well-maintained, neat and tidy work area, they are less likely to be so intrusive.
Ensure individuals with environmental responsibilities are properly trained to do their job, that the training is up-to-date, and that training records are readily accessible.
Consider implementing an internal inspection program. It could be focused on a specific media area or take a broader, multi-media approach. This can be as simple or complex as you want to make it, but the important point here is that you are demonstrating you take compliance seriously and are regularly self-assessing your operations. Document your results!
Last but certainly not least, ensure management buy-in on the compliance program – commitment starts at the top.
Scout Environmental is ready to guide you through your next environmental compliance audit. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further inquiries.