[This article was written by Brooke Chaplan.]
No matter what type of business you are involved in, there are hundreds and sometimes thousands of regulations with which you must comply. Environmental regulations are among this long list, yet they stand out because of their potential to impact so much more than your individual business. That’s why it’s crucial to properly navigate and adhere to environmental regulations to ensure that your business stays compliant and that you do your part to protect the environment for future generations.
Consider All Levels
When it comes to environmental regulations, everyone wants to have a voice. That’s why, in many cases, you’ll need to navigate federal, state, and local environmental regulations to stay in full compliance. Of course, some of the regulations may not apply to you, depending on the type of business you operate, but it’s still important to do your research beforehand to ensure you know all the laws. After all, ignorance is not a valid defense.
Another great way to successfully navigate environmental regulations is to ask business owners who work in similar fields. Though their situations may be slightly different, any real-world experience you can gain will be valuable to help you stay right with the law. Ask them about the challenges they have faced, unexpected changes they’ve had to make, and things they would have done differently when they began. Another great resource at this stage is an environmental law practice, as they have typically dealt with multiple businesses in your situation and can provide up-to-date advice that has your best interest at heart.
Know Where to Go
If there’s a specific issue relating to environmental regulation that you can’t seem to find an answer to, it’s important to know where to go to ultimately find the answer you’re seeking. Local and state governments often have just a handful of people who can field any questions you have to ensure you get the correct answer. When it comes to federal environmental regulations, the EPA can be a little more complicated to interact with. In any event, it’s important to know who your contact people are, both as you begin down the road of environmental regulations and as you have questions in the future.
If there’s one thing that’s always true about environmental regulations, it’s that they will change over time. To remain in full compliance, then, you need to work to stay up-to-date with these changes to determine how they affect your business. At least once a year, or more often depending on your industry, you’ll want to review any new regulations that have been enacted and then, if necessary, reach out to your contacts to see what changes you need to make to prevent fines or other damage to your business.
In addition to avoiding fines and legal burdens, complying with environmental regulations helps to maintain your business’s public image. Whether or not you agree with a particular regulation, compliance will keep your name out of the news and ensure you don’t have another fire to fight as you conduct business. By using the tips above, this process of compliance will be greatly simplified, allowing you to focus your energy elsewhere.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan