Last year EPA announced the launch of a new mapping feature within its Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO) database. Updated monthly, it includes information on enforcement actions – undertaken by EPA at the Federal level or by authorized State environmental agencies – against businesses like yours. This new feature is part of the EPA’s ongoing effort to improve transparency and include more parties in maintaining regulatory compliance and protecting the environment.
The result of this “transparency” is that businesses such as yours must prepare to address – and be addressed by – a general public and other interested parties who now have ready access to critical information about your facility’s compliance status. All enforcement actions undertaken by State and Federal agencies are included. The data may be searched by year, media (air, water, waste, or multiple), by State, or other criteria. The mapping tool also allows users to focus on specific facilities and view:
- Facility name.
- Applicable environmental statute with potential violation.
- Link to detailed information about the facility’s compliance status on the ECHO database.
What does this mean for you? Now more than ever, enforcement actions against your company are “Public Knowledge”. Once an applicable action is taken by a State or Federal agency, there is no way to prevent it quickly becoming available to neighbors, concerned citizens, media, environmental groups, and your competitors. The best way to prevent this kind of stain on your company image is to preclude the necessity for an enforcement action in the first place.
Maintain compliance with all State and Federal regulations. Begin by ensuring any employees who generate, manage, or handle hazardous waste receive annual RCRA (aka: Hazardous Waste Personnel) Training. It is also likely that you have employees that require the DOT’s HazMat Employee training. I can provide both of those trainings at a reasonable price and at a location convenient for you. Review my open enrollment training schedule, and my prices, or contact me about on-site training.