Starting or running a business in Georgia has many perks. Consistently ranked as one of the friendliest states for business, Georgia has a strong infrastructure, a solid economy and many opportunities. It is also a breathtakingly beautiful place to live and work, and the top-notch employees you recruit from across the country should have no issues taking up residence among its elegant mountains, sprawling fields and pristine shorelines.
However, protecting that beauty and tranquility as well as the health and safety of the community is part of the responsibilities of all business owners, whether they run international companies or storefront startups. If you own a company regulated by federal environmental laws, you will want to be aware of the procedures the Environmental Protection Agency uses to monitor your business to ensure it complies with all relevant laws.
Is your company in compliance?
Development, industry and other human endeavors can disrupt the delicate balance of many ecosystems. This can be devastating to the environment and bring potential harm to those who live and work in the community. Therefore, the EPA monitors these industries for any violations of laws that protect the air, water, soil and other environmental factors. Some common methods of monitoring include the following:
- Routine inspections that involve taking samples, reviewing documentation, interviewing staff members and observing the way your business operates
- Evaluations of the air quality by observing regulated emissions, pollutant levels and methods of operation
- Investigations, which often occur following a referral, a concerning study that suggests non-compliance or a pattern of complaints from members of the community
- Requests for information with which you must comply, and which usually concur with an investigation or failed inspection
- Reviews of your company’s records, which happen routinely and may or may not involve an inspection or investigation
Ideally, your company should have procedures in place for monitoring for potential violations of environmental laws. Self-reporting to the EPA and taking measures to correct those violations may minimize any penalties your company may face. The EPA offers incentives to companies who are willing to promptly disclose these issues and swiftly bring them into compliance with federal law. State and federal environmental protection laws can be quite complex and change quickly. It is wise to remain current with those laws and the most efficient ways to comply with EPA regulations.