When building a comprehensive compliance program at an organization, the areas that tend to gain the greatest support and focus are the areas with specific permitting or reporting requirements to a regulating agency. However, often the areas without a formal reporting requirement are more challenging to manage and demonstrate compliance.
Consider these questions:
- After completing each compliance report, what do you do with it?
- Or more importantly, what do you do with the source data that was used to complete it?
- If you were asked to present all of this information for a report you completed a year ago, could you? What about 5 years ago?
Recordkeeping and documentation are common focuses of enforcement actions. If you cannot provide reliable documentation of source data, or of estimates and assumptions used in the gathering and use of that data, regulators will often see that as an opening to discover possible areas of non-compliance.
PROVING THE “NEGATIVE”
Proving that a specific requirement is applicable to your organization and complying with it is often easier for an EHS professional than proving non-applicability. So, what to do about those requirements that your organization is NOT subject to? If a regulator were to ask about a requirement that you consider yourself exempt from, can you back it up?
For example, if you use and/or store chemicals at your site, and you don’t have chemical inventory and usage information available to you, how can you prove that you did not exceed any regulatory reporting thresholds?
Regulators will be looking for these types of gaps in your data to discover if you have any corporate EHS “blind spots”. Therefore, by maintaining both a comprehensive compliance program and effective recordkeeping practices, you will be able to demonstrate that you are NOT subject to a specific requirement, and thus in compliance with your EHS requirements.
The EHS-Dashboard™ is an effective tool which helps our clients to:
- Maintain program legacy and provide transparency to data sources
- Show due diligence to regulators and customers by a proactive approach to managing EHS risks
- Meet the conditions to use regulatory “self-disclosure policies,” therefore reducing chances of fines and penalties
- Realize improvements to systems, processes, and practices
- Create a culture of continual improvement
At CAPACCIO, we live our mission of “Helping Industry and the Environment Prosper”. We align EHS with your overall business objectives to strategically position you for success. Our unique approach combines our extensive EHS experience with innovative tools, such as our EHS Dashboard™, to effectively address your challenges. Our comprehensive solutions have resulted in award-winning EHS and overall business performance for our clients. We are certified WBENC, WBE. To learn more visit us at www.capaccio.com.