What Items Should I Have on Our Environmental Audit Checklist?

Conducting regular environmental audits will help your company follow compliance laws. These efforts should be guided by an environmental audit checklist. But what items should be included on this checklist?

The answer will depend largely on the scope of your company. But there are some common items that almost every business should include. Below, we highlight the most important items that should be on your checklist. Let’s begin by capturing the importance of using a checklist.

Why Environmental Audit Checklists Are Important

An environmental audit checklist should serve as your template for environmental compliance. It will help you make sure that you do not overlook any key aspects of compliance. Without a checklist, your team may miss something important. In turn, this could lead to costly fines, lawsuits, or shutdowns.

You should review your checklist to make sure that it covers all relevant concerns. Any time your business model evolves, review your checklist. This is especially important for companies that regularly handle hazardous substances.

What Your Environmental Audit Checklist Should Include

Your checklist should be tailored to the needs of your company. But most checklists should include the following:

Records Review

When regulatory agencies such as the EPA audit your business, they will conduct a records review. So shouldn’t your internal audit include a records review as well?

When reviewing records, focus on documents that may expose your company to liability. Examples include spill control plans, emergency response plans, permits, and waste analysis plans.

Disposal Sites

Waste disposal sites always receive close scrutiny during inspections. Therefore, this item must be on your checklist.

Ensure that all practices follow state and federal guidelines. Waste disposal violations can be especially costly. You may also be required to pay for cleanup efforts if they become needed.

Vehicles Used to Transport Hazards

Are your hazardous waste transport vehicles safe and well maintained? If not, then you need to fix this issue as quickly as possible.

The best way to avoid upkeep oversights is to include your vehicles on your checklist. You should also be performing regular vehicle inspections. At a minimum, supervisors should inspect the vehicles quarterly. Drivers should also be inspecting vehicles daily.

Incinerators

Incinerators create many worksite hazards. In light of this, they should be on your checklist. Damaged incinerators can endanger staff. They can also fail to properly dispose of hazardous waste.

Containment Buildings

Any building used to store waste or hazardous materials must be inspected regularly. Like disposal sites, containment buildings are always a subject of scrutiny during inspections. When auditing your buildings, check for damage to all key systems. This includes the roof, walls, windows, ventilation systems, and foundation.

Storage Tanks

Storage tanks should always be included on your checklist. This applies to both aboveground and underground storage tanks. Tanks should be checked for leaks, corrosion, and other concerns. You should also inspect pipes and fittings during your audit.

Security Measures

If your job site contains hazards, you must secure them. This means installing the proper security measures. Examples include locks, gates, and fences. Make sure to list these items on your audit template so that they are properly inspected.

Communication Equipment

Communication equipment will be crucial in the event of a spill or leak. That is why you should include this equipment on your checklist. Function test all communication equipment, including emergency systems.

Need to Schedule an Environmental Audit? We Can Help!

A checklist can help you ensure compliance with relevant federal and state laws. But conducting environmental audits with the help of a third-party firm is even more effective.

RSB Environmental can take an objective look at your compliance efforts. We will identify areas of concern and provide guidance on how to resolve these issues.

To learn more about our environmental audit services, book a free consultation today. Our full range of environmental management services is just what you need. We are here to support your environmental compliance needs and help your company avoid costly compliance issues.

Conducting regular environmental audits will help your company follow compliance laws. These efforts should be guided by an environmental audit checklist. But what items should be included on this checklist?

The answer will depend largely on the scope of your company. But there are some common items that almost every business should include. Below, we highlight the most important items that should be on your checklist. Let’s begin by capturing the importance of using a checklist.

Why Environmental Audit Checklists Are Important

An environmental audit checklist should serve as your template for environmental compliance. It will help you make sure that you do not overlook any key aspects of compliance. Without a checklist, your team may miss something important. In turn, this could lead to costly fines, lawsuits, or shutdowns.

You should review your checklist to make sure that it covers all relevant concerns. Any time your business model evolves, review your checklist. This is especially important for companies that regularly handle hazardous substances.

What Your Environmental Audit Checklist Should Include

Your checklist should be tailored to the needs of your company. But most checklists should include the following:

Records Review

When regulatory agencies such as the EPA audit your business, they will conduct a records review. So shouldn’t your internal audit include a records review as well?

When reviewing records, focus on documents that may expose your company to liability. Examples include spill control plans, emergency response plans, permits, and waste analysis plans.

Disposal Sites

Waste disposal sites always receive close scrutiny during inspections. Therefore, this item must be on your checklist.

Ensure that all practices follow state and federal guidelines. Waste disposal violations can be especially costly. You may also be required to pay for cleanup efforts if they become needed.

Vehicles Used to Transport Hazards

Are your hazardous waste transport vehicles safe and well maintained? If not, then you need to fix this issue as quickly as possible.

The best way to avoid upkeep oversights is to include your vehicles on your checklist. You should also be performing regular vehicle inspections. At a minimum, supervisors should inspect the vehicles quarterly. Drivers should also be inspecting vehicles daily.

Incinerators

Incinerators create many worksite hazards. In light of this, they should be on your checklist. Damaged incinerators can endanger staff. They can also fail to properly dispose of hazardous waste.

Containment Buildings

Any building used to store waste or hazardous materials must be inspected regularly. Like disposal sites, containment buildings are always a subject of scrutiny during inspections. When auditing your buildings, check for damage to all key systems. This includes the roof, walls, windows, ventilation systems, and foundation.

Storage Tanks

Storage tanks should always be included on your checklist. This applies to both aboveground and underground storage tanks. Tanks should be checked for leaks, corrosion, and other concerns. You should also inspect pipes and fittings during your audit.

Security Measures

If your job site contains hazards, you must secure them. This means installing the proper security measures. Examples include locks, gates, and fences. Make sure to list these items on your audit template so that they are properly inspected.

Communication Equipment

Communication equipment will be crucial in the event of a spill or leak. That is why you should include this equipment on your checklist. Function test all communication equipment, including emergency systems.

Need to Schedule an Environmental Audit? We Can Help!

A checklist can help you ensure compliance with relevant federal and state laws. But conducting environmental audits with the help of a third-party firm is even more effective.

RSB Environmental can take an objective look at your compliance efforts. We will identify areas of concern and provide guidance on how to resolve these issues.

To learn more about our environmental audit services, book a free consultation today. Our full range of environmental management services is just what you need. We are here to support your environmental compliance needs and help your company avoid costly compliance issues.