Running a small business is more than a full-time job. For the majority of small business owners, their business becomes their entire life for at least the first few years of operation. Because there’s so much to take care of to just keep your business functioning, it can be difficult to keep up with almost anything else, especially areas of business that have been known to change a lot.
One of these areas that businesses need to be aware of but often don’t have the time to study in depth is how the EPA can affect their business. And while you may not think that your company is violating anything under the Environmental Protection Agency’s jurisdiction, it’s best to know for certain than to operate your business in ignorant bliss—because that ignorance won’t be bliss when you’re issued a huge fine. So to keep this from happening, here are three things you can do to ensure your business doesn’t have issues with the EPA.
Know the Rules and Regulations
The first step to avoiding problems with the EPA is knowing what the potential problems could be for your business. According to Madie Hodges, a contributor to Kabbage.com, EPA policies are separated into industries to make it easier for businesses to read and research what the EPA expects of them. This way, business owners don’t have to spend an exorbitant amount of time reading all the EPA material to find which regulations apply to your specific area of business. Make sure you have someone who knows and understands the rules you should be following to avoid making any costly mistakes with the EPA.
Get the Right Permits
If your business needs to do something that could violate a regulation set up by the EPA, you’re going to want to get a permit to ensure that your business is covered legally. The Small Business Administration shares that permits are usually necessary when you’re going to expel pollutants into the air or water or if you need to dispose of any hazardous materials. Some of the most often used permits include the Clean Air Act Permit and RCRA Permits. Before you take any action that you even remotely think could be under EPA jurisdiction, check to ensure you have a permit if necessary to avoid running into further problems with the EPA.
Obey Clean Water Rules
The rules regarding clean water and the EPA have just recently been amended. According to Ed Lieber, a contributor to SmallBizTrends.com, the EPA is extending what is considered “waters of the United States.” This means that water that used to not be under EPA jurisdiction now may be. For small business owners, this could severely limit their ability to function as they have previously. If you think there could be a chance that these new regulations under the Clean Water Act could be relevant to your business, do your research to ensure that you’re following all applicable rules.
Although the mission of the EPA isn’t to make doing business more difficult, some of the regulations may have an impact on your business’s ability to conduct itself. Use the tips mentioned above to stay on the right side of the EPA and keep your business running smoothly.