Ready for Regulations? How to Prevent Costly Surprises For Your Manufacturing Operation
In the push to ensure greater environmental controls over manufacturing operations, government regulations continue to tighten. One study found that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has imposed 972 regulations on manufacturers in just the past 30 years alone. That same study found that violations have cost companies more than a billion in fines, and cost individuals their freedom – with nearly 300 criminal cases opened by the agency.
Of course, regulation occurs at all levels of government, and often, municipal regulations are among the most fluid. As a manufacturer, dedicating resources – not just to today’s regulatory schemes, but to understanding which way the future regulatory winds are blowing – is not just critical – it’s mandatory.
Here at Hubbard-Hall, we work closely with manufacturing operations of all sizes to reduce harmful constituents in wastewater. We feel that it’s always best to have an active plan in place to reduce – and potentially eliminate – chemicals in wastewater. But sometimes, even the best of planning can’t foresee enterprise-threatening changes.
We recently were called in to assist a metal processing company that was dealing with a unique situation. In their locality, new wastewater permits are issued every five years – and sure enough, at renewal time, the local government tightened their chemical oxygen demand (COD) standard. Though the government had sent a “notice of intent to change” to the company well in advance, this notice was overlooked. As a further challenge, when the new permit arrived, the individual assigned to ensure compliance at this company had resigned – and her replacement was unaware of the change.
A citation was issued, and the company was given 90 days to comply – or shut down operations. The company called in the Aquapure team, and we were able to quickly reduce the COD numbers to a level well within limits – thus keeping the company’s operations online.
Of course, COD emissions are just the tip of the iceberg. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce reports that among the constituents facing the most scrutiny – and in turn, increased regulations, by environmental watchdog agencies, include greenhouse gases, carbon-based oxides, pollutants from industrial boilers, chemicals in manmade waterways, and byproducts of coal production.
To ensure your company is positioned for the next permitting cycle, be sure to take all communications from regulatory agencies seriously; maintain a strong dialogue with inspectors and regulators; and have a solid wastewater treatment plan in place. If we at Aquapure can be of any assistance, please contact us today.