Top 6 Questions About Environmental Regulatory Compliance Answered

Written by Economic Development Jobs on August 24, 2016. Posted in Environmental health and safety management, Quality management systems, Water and waste regulatory compliance

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Almost everyone has heard of environmental regulatory compliance, but what exactly are the components of environmental regulatory compliance and how can companies better meet these rules and regulations? We’ve collected the top six environmental regulatory compliance questions and answered them below.

What is environmental health and safety?

Environmental health and safety (EHS) is an umbrella term used to refer to the collection of laws, regulations, and guidance principles designed to help protect the environment, employees, and the public from harm. These laws and regulations are set by various government agencies and vary across industries and locations. In the U.S., the primary regulatory agencies are the Occupational Health and Safety Association (OHSA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

What is environmental regulatory compliance?

Environmental compliance means conforming your business practices to meet the environmental laws, regulations, and standards set forth by government agencies such as the EPA and OHSA. Environmental concerns of late have led to an increase in the scope and number of environmental compliance regulations across all global environments and industries. To abide by environmental regulatory compliance laws, companies must:

  • Institute monitoring programs and schedules
  • Perform calculations and validate the data for any alert or reporting levels
  • Generate compliance reports for authorities and auditors

While the exact regulations will differ across industries and locations, the general principles of environmental regulatory compliance remains the same: to minimize risk and ensure adequate compliance with EHS regulations. To this end, companies can employ EHS compliance software that helps them ensure they are meeting the requirements of environmental regulatory compliance.

What does the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulate?

The EPA aims to protect human health and the environment. When Congress writes an environmental law, it is the EPA’s duty to write regulations to implement it. These regulations explain the technical, legal, and operational details necessary to implement environmental laws. For the EPA, this most often means writing national standards which states are then required to enforce through their own environmental regulatory compliance methods. The EPA acts as an enforcer and aid to help states and businesses meet these requirements.

What does the Occupational Health and Safety Association (OHSA) regulate?

According to the Occupational Health and Safety (OSH) Act, employers must provide safe and healthful work environments for their employees. The OHSA strives to assure this is the case by setting and enforcing standards for employers to abide by and by providing training and support to help employers meet these standards.

What are the biggest environmental regulatory compliance standards for employers?

The majority of employers consider sustainability to be “very” or “extremely” important. Sustainability is the term used to refer to the management of environmental, social, and governance issues. It can be applied across a wide range of areas such as reputation building, new-product development, and overall corporate strategy. According to over three-quarters of executives, sustainability provides a positive contribution to shareholder value over the long-run. Half of executives see short-term value from sustainability as well.

For many employees, their company’s water and energy conservation efforts are important to them. Access to recycling and whether a company takes the impact it has on the environment seriously are also of utmost importance. Despite the fact that employers and employees agree environmental regulatory compliance is important, only 27% of respondents to a recent survey indicated their chief executives run their companies’ sustainability initiatives on a day-to-day basis. To rectify this, many employers are turning to environmental health and safety management software.

How can environmental health and safety management software help me?

Environmental health and safety management software helps employers meet their environmental regulatory compliance and company policies with routine inspections and scheduled audits. An audit will involve inspecting of physical assets such as work sites and physical structures. For example, a water treatment facility audit would involve inspecting the components of their system to ensure proper functionality and that they meet environmental regulatory compliance standards for both local and country specific requirements.

An audit software is a suite of tools which enable employers to plan, manage, review, and track their audits and inspections. Some audit software compliance solutions include mobile app functionality for field work inspections as well. Audit software can help company’s audit departments improve their efficiency and effectiveness in meeting with environmental regulatory compliance standards.

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