Modern environmental awareness has become a very important factor in all things. As society has become more knowledgeable to its effects on the environment, its opinions have grown stronger. Subsequently, the legal system as well as the court of public opinion can and will get involved with any matter that is in strong enough opposition to current standards.
The EPA, or Environmental Protection Agency is the main government entity that oversees environmental compliance in the United States. The agency’s reach is endless and proactive. Just a few examples of EPA action on commercial and industrial businesses:
- February 2011 – The EPA cites a wire and cable manufacturer in Shelburne, Vermont for violating a Clean Air Act Permit. The fine came out to cost the company $123,840.
- March 2012 – A Flushing, New York rental company was cited for lead paint violations in some of its Reading, Pennsylvania rental properties. The case is ongoing but up to $11000 can be assessed per violation.
- July 2012 - The Pennsylvania based builder, Toll Brothers was found to be in violation of many instances of the Clean water Act. Fines total at least $741,000 and there have been other demanding judicial rulings administered to the company as well.
- May 2012 – Beef Feedlot operations in multiple states were found to be in violation of federal water discharge laws. The EPA issued many subsequent fines and judicial orders to the businesses involved.
Upon closer look, most EPA violations are brought on by improper waste or toxic material handling, or the discharge of environmentally harmful bi-products in some shape or form. Sometimes this is through air contamination. Other times it is through water or ground soil.
Even still, other instances of pollution can occur by not following the proper procedures for throwing out certain materials. An example would be throwing batteries, toxic chemicals, or fluorescent light bulbs in the trash. These all contain waste that is harmful to the environment. Special disposal companies can help.
Refrigerants follow another highly restricted disposal and handling process. Recent studies have found refrigerants to be very harmful to the ozone when released into the air. Therefore, stiff penalties ensue when this occurs. Companies such as ReccoUSA can assist in such matters.
The bottom line is that as a business, you must become educated and stay up to date with EPA regulations and environmental law. All industries including the technology sector fall under these guidelines. It is far more costly to be caught not following these practices, than to simply conform to them. They are after all, in everyone’s best interest. For more helpful information or guidance, contact the EPA.