If you own commercial property, you know that many environmental regulations exist. These regulations often overlap because they are set by federal, state, and local entities. Fortunately, you can ensure compliance with complex requirements by using environmental audit services.
But, you may have questions about when exactly you should use these services. Before construction? Annually after beginning operations? Before purchasing commercial property?
If you have environmental questions, this guide is for you. Below, we will cover everything you need to know about environmental audit services. The following guide includes information about what is included in these services, who needs them, and when to use them. Let’s dive in.
What Is an Environmental Audit?
An environmental audit is what it sounds like. It is an in-depth look at a company’s various processes that affect the environment. These audits determine what impact a company has on the world around it.
During an audit, assessors will determine whether your company is compliant with relevant laws. The audit will document any concerns and also lay out a plan for fixing problems.
Audits serve many purposes. For example, they help companies protect natural resources and reduce the risk of fines.
Perhaps most importantly, these audits can protect business continuity. Let’s say that your business is out of compliance and does not perform an audit. If these compliance issues are discovered, then the state where you conduct business could make you shut down operations. This enforcement could cost you tens of thousands of dollars in lost profits.
As you can see, performing an audit is typically in your best interest.
Who Needs an Environmental Audit?
While environmental audits are critical, not everyone needs to schedule one. Just because you own a commercial property does not mean you must conduct an audit. Primarily, properties that are zoned as industrial need to perform environmental audits. These entities are more likely to impact resources like:
To recap, if you operate an industrial business, you probably need an environmental audit. Fortunately, these audits do not need to be performed annually. Instead, you should schedule them periodically.
Generally, we recommend scheduling an initial audit to assess compliance. From there, you can book a subsequent audit anytime you make significant changes to your operations. Changes may include building new structures or offering extra services that expand your operational footprint.
Common Signs There Is an Environmental Risk
Some common signs of environmental risks will reveal if you need an audit. These signs include:
- Storage tanks
- Any emissions
- Handling or mishandling of hazardous waste
- Chemicals stored on site as part of day-to-day operations
- Unusual odors
- Excessive noise pollution
- Waste water disposal
You should book an audit if any of the above are present or occur on your industrial property.
Ready to Schedule Performing Environmental Audit Services?
Our goal is that the information in this guide has revealed whether you need to perform an initial audit of your commercial real estate property. If you believe that you need environmental audit services, then the next step is to book your audit.
RSB Environmental can typically complete an audit in 2-4 weeks. This timeframe includes performing the audit and generating your report. The report will lay out all concerns that were discovered.
In our report, we also lay out an action plan to help bring you into compliance with relevant regulations. The plan may include taking steps like:
- Sampling soil or water or air
- Obtaining permits
- Creating pollution reduction plans
- Training staff
- Reporting activities to state entities
As part of our effort to create your plan, we use an action matrix. This matrix ensures that we address all relevant environmental concerns from most critical to least critical. Once our plan is complete, we will put it to work, resolving your compliance issues. Implementing the plan may take 3-6 months, depending on how many issues are revealed.
To learn more about using our expertise to support your property, book your personal consultation today. We look forward to protecting your interests.