Taking a proactive approach to environmental compliance can help companies avoid liabilities

September 20, 2013

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From companies in the retail UST sector to a wide range of other energy, commercial and industrial businesses, many organizations have a need to manage environmental liabilities. However, stakeholders may not realize that there is far more to this subject than simply cleaning up after accidents.

Being prepared to respond effectively in emergency situations is crucial for companies in heavy industries, but engaging in proactive efforts to prevent environmental liabilities from emerging in the first place is typically a far more cost-effective approach.

There are many different substances that can pose a risk to human or ecological health if unintentionally released. Whether such materials are held in above- or below-ground storage tanks, it is important for tank owners to adhere to established best practices for ensuring containment. In many cases, there may be specific, legally mandated standards that must be followed.

Being able to demonstrate compliance is essential

Corporations must not only maintain compliance with all pertinent laws and regulations—they also need to collect data demonstrating that they are meeting their obligations. This data must be reported to the appropriate agencies in a timely manner and kept on record in an organized format so that it can be retrieved when necessary.

Conducting regular, rigorous audits is the only way for companies to definitively ensure that they remain in compliance and that any emerging issues are dealt with before they are allowed to sprawl. This helps guarantee that potential environmental liabilities are kept in check and related costs can be effectively controlled.

Independent consultants can provide an invaluable aid

When tank owners discover that they have potential environmental liabilities involving one of more of their properties, they need more than a remediation company. They need a partner that can help with every aspect of compliance. Cleanup projects are only one piece of the environmental liability puzzle and even if remediation work is necessary, there will still be a need for subsequent monitoring and reporting.

When companies work with a full-cycle provider of environmental compliance services, they can enjoy the simplicity of having a single point of contact for aid on everything from site assessments, strategic planning, permitting and auditing to remediation, monitoring and reporting.

Ideally, organizations that are concerned about environmental liabilities should seek out a consulting firm whose in-house staff have expertise in the full range of services required to tackle the problem. This helps ensure that the company will be able to conduct a complete diagnosis of all pertinent regulatory, technical, and cost recovery information, develop project or portfolio management strategies that account for unique conditions at specific sites and develop a financial model capable of forecasting spending scenarios that cover the entire duration of a project.

When the emphasis is on managing the total cost of a remediation or compliance program from a holistic perspective, it enables stakeholders to resolve their environmental liabilities at the lowest possible cost and get back to focusing on their core business.

For more information visit www.ppmco.com or call 1-800-761-8675