Is Your Business Environmentally Responsible?
By Buck Pennington, CRSP, CHSC, Sr. BRC Consultant
The following questions may help you to determine if your business is meeting its environmental obligations and participating as an environmentally responsible member of the community:
- Are you disposing of any liquid or hazardous waste? Do you have the proper manifests completed?
- Have you evaluated the content of your wastes? Are they labelled? Do they need to be registered with provincial regulators?
- Are your records up to date and copies available for viewing by enforcement persons?
- Do you have a written response plan for environmental emergencies? Do you have the personnel, tools and equipment needed to enact your plan?
- Do you have an up to date emergency response and reporting list?
- Is your pollution control equipment being regularly maintained?
- Do you report spills as required by regulations?
- Does your business serve drinking water to the public? Are you meeting all the regulatory requirements associated with this?
- Is your environmental sampling being conducted by competent persons and/or organizations (e.g. laboratories)? Are they accredited and/or licensed where required?
- Are you properly storing wastes?
- Do you dispose of hazardous or liquid wastes through an authorized carrier? Do you know where these wastes are going?
- Do you make sure you are not stockpiling waste or disposing of waste in an unauthorized manner?
- Do your employees receive the appropriate environmental training?
- Do you have a septic system? If yes, are you ensuring that industrial wastewater is not being fed into the septic system without meeting proper regulatory requirements?
- Do you have adequate spill containment for hazardous materials or wastes?
- Have you walked your property line to see what eco-systems you have around you and what types of activities your neighbours are doing?
Permits, Licenses and Approvals
- Are you emitting anything into the atmosphere that requires approvals?
- Are you discharging anything into drains, sanitary or storm sewers, streams or other water bodies? Do you have the appropriate approvals from regulatory bodies?
- Are your permits, licenses and approvals up to date? Are you meeting their requirements? Do you have current copies available?
- What changes might you implementing in the future that may require application for new permits, licenses, approvals or the amendment of current permits, licenses or approvals?