Getting into, and staying in, compliance with environmental regulatioins can be challenging, but the process can be made easier. Here are some tips to help you be in compliance and go beyond.
- Make sure that the proper approvals/permits/plans have been obtained for the facility. The Division of Compliance Assistance's Typical Permit document can help identify any gaps.
- Use a checklist to help organize and prioritize areas that need attention. DCA's Compliance Workbook can help with this process.
- Get management's support and place a priority on compliance.
- Delegate so that environmental protection is everyone's responsibility.
- Properly operate and maintain the facility according to permit conditions. Good housekeeping should be directly and specifically linked to environmental protection and safety.
- Implement a change management system that allows the organization to evaluate how changes in its processes can impact the facility's compliance.
- Implement Best Management Practices and review/change them as conditions change.
- Cross-reference emergency plans (security, spill, fire, earthquake, severe weather, safety, business continuity), keeping them as simple as possible (even make them one plan). Read them, train on them, use them as an aid for compliance and revise them after use with lessons learned.
- Ensure that employees are properly trained and kept current in their environmental responsibilities.
- Report in accordance with regulatory and permit requirements for air quality, water quality and waste management.
- Maintain records in one place for quick accessibility.
- Be proactive instead of reactive.
- Join a trade association or seek out a mentor to assess your status in relation to industry standards.
- Join an environmental leadership program, such as KY EXCEL.
When questions arise, ask; don't assume or wait. Environmental Compliance Assistance Program (ECAP) staff are available to assist you with any questions or concerns.