If you own a business here in Georgia, the odds are that it will be subject to a variety of federal and state laws that apply to your industry. One body of law that many industries must adhere to involves environmental issues. It is vital to know that the environmental laws businesses must comply with could vary from the federal to the state level. You would be responsible for complying with both.
Every business, including yours, may want to do some research in order to make sure it remains in compliance with environmental laws. You may not think that your company needs to worry about this area of law, but you could find out the hard way that this is one area you should have paid attention to when setting up your business.
The Georgia Environmental Protection Division
Yes, you may need to adhere to laws, rules and regulations enforced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, but don’t forget about the state. If your business does need to comply with one or more environmental laws, you will most likely know about Georgia’s EPD. The EPD is responsible for enforcing the state’s laws regarding air quality, water quality and more.
The agency has the task of making sure that your business is in compliance. If it is not, the EPD also handles enforcement issues at the state level. The majority of these issues are resolvable through consent orders and administrative orders that include the following:
- What the problem is
- What actions are necessary to correct the problem
- What kind of fine or settlement amount you may be required to pay
When it comes to administrative consent orders, the EPD issues a public notice and allows time for comments regarding the particulars of such an order, so third parties will have the opportunity to respond to an action that affects your business, which could prove problematic for you.
Protect your business
You have two ways to protect your business when it comes to interactions with the EPD. Obviously, the most efficient, and perhaps cost-effective, way to achieve this goal is to make sure you remain in compliance with all applicable environmental laws at all times. However, if you do find your business at odds with the EPD, you may want to work with an environmental law attorney who can help protect your interests and achieve the best resolution possible to the dispute.