Tools: Virtual Plant Tour

Regulatory Information | Best Practices | Case Studies

Regulatory Information

Stop 21: Office

Highlighted Topic:  Environmental Compliance Planning

Tour Stop 21Here's the plant office where you do much of your environmental compliance planning.

How do you survey and analyze your operations to check for regulatory coverage?  In addition to trying the other resources provided in this web site (e.g., the self-assessment tools provided)  we'd like to suggest you go through the following exercise:

1) Map your product preparation systems. 
Include the inputs, processes, and outputs.  Include both planned and unplanned operations (possible upsets).  Consider how each input, process, and output might affect the environment.  Be comprehensive when detailing any air emissions, water emissions, and waste items that result.

2)  Describe your general facility operations by listing the various major types of equipment and activities that occur at the plant.
Go beyond the product preparation lines to include: storage activities, facility energy generation, facility and equipment maintenance, and other support services.  For example, how does the plant get energy?  Water?  How and where are chemical inputs stored?  Consider how each of these activities might have environmental impacts, both ongoing and accidental.

3)  Describe any facility construction or other land-based activities. 
Where are construction or land-based activities occurring and how are they changing the site?  Consider how each of these activities might affect the environment.

4)  Become familiar with the general environment of your site. 
Learn something about the hydrology (how the water flows), wind patterns, and surrounding land-use.  Do a walk-around of the site, looking for any signs of current or previous practices that might be affecting the environment.

5)  Create an environmental compliance program by drawing from the above information and linking it to the information provided in this Handbook and elsewhere. 

At a minimum, your compliance program should include a comprehensive list of the various regulatory requirements you face, along with the specific actions needed, the staff responsible, and schedule. You might want to create a central site in which to maintain important documents, including not only permit documents and official materials, but also any facility-based plans or procedures developed.  You might also want to develop staff training regarding the compliance program and general environmental performance.