The state of the environment is becoming a more significant social and political concern. Despite remaining divisions, most companies and communities want to maintain ecosystems and ensure that commercial development avoids unnecessary damage.
That’s where working with an environment compliance consultant can help. These professionals assist construction companies with complex regulatory compliance requirements, ensuring contractors follow the environmental rules in their jurisdiction.
What Is The Role Of An Environmental Compliance Consultant?
Environmental compliance consultants’ role is to ensure project owners, general contractors, and others involved in land development projects comply with environmental regulations. These professionals implement best management practices (BMP) for controlling stormwater runoff and reducing the risk of toxic silts forming downstream.
Other roles include:
- Assessing site conditions, including soil types, gradient, and existing pavements and roads that might affect water management
- Selecting various BMPs based on the jurisdiction’s rules and regulations
- Oversight of the construction of BMPs (where required)
- Training staff on how to best manage stormwater runoff on projects
- Measuring stormwater discharge and reporting data
- Helping with the permitting process by drawing up detailed BMP plans
What Specific Services Do Environmental Compliance Consultants Offer?
More specifically, environmental compliance consultants assist with the following:
Environmental compliance consultants help project owners and contractors prepare Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPP). These documents outline measures firms will use to reduce pollutants and contaminants in stormwater runoff. SWPPPs should include a site description, a list of potential pollutants, details of BMPs operators will implement, and an inspection schedule.
Once plans are complete, environmental compliance consultants can check them against the firm’s real-world performance. Inspecting existing plans is an extra layer of assurance they are sufficient for local government requirements.
Additional stormwater compliance functions include:
- Inspecting erosion and sediment control measures, such as barriers, walls, gulleys, and terraces, ensuring they are preventing soil erosion and silt deposition downstream.
- Stormwater facility construction inspections, including bioretention facilities, swales and detention ponds, ensuring they meet the pre-approved plans and specifications
- Stormwater facility as-built certifications proving installations are built to the appropriate standards.
- Stormwater permits closeouts and “notice of termination” submissions once on-site work concludes, streamlining relationships with regulators and jurisdictional authorities.
Post-Construction Stormwater Facility Inspections And Maintenance
Environmental compliance consultants also assist with inspecting and maintaining stormwater facilities post-construction. Professionals attend sites periodically, confirming that permanent systems continue functioning as required (and helping when they don’t).
Offering maintenance advice is also a critical function. Consultants help owners by creating schedules showing them the servicing tasks they should complete and when. Some agreements also include staff training, helping facilities managers understand what stormwater facilities they operate, and why maintaining them is critical for environmental protection.
Wastewater compliance is another function of these consultants. Professionals assist in ensuring that it meets regulatory standards.
Work typically involves monitoring, sampling, and reporting. Consultants will devise strategies for collecting representative discharge samples, analyze them, and write up their reports, ensuring they follow acceptable chain-of-custody procedures.
In addition, environmental compliance consultants also provide wastewater regulatory analysis and compliance services. These let construction firms and commercial clients stay abreast of the latest developments at all levels of government and avoid being slapped with a fine.
Wetland Identification And Delineation
Environmental compliance consultants also assist with wetland identification and delineation. Discovering these offers peace of mind and can avoid potential delays and fines for building in non-permitted areas.
Water Quality Assessments
Water quality assessments are another function of these compliance consultants. Services include:
- Groundwater quality assessments, looking for bacteria, heavy metals, and unwanted organic chemicals
- Surface water quality assessments, analyzing pH, pollutants, and other chemicals in runoff
Environmental Site Assessments
Finally, environmental compliance consultants conduct phase 1 and 2 environmental site assessments. Phase 1 is a surface-level, non-intrusive evaluation of a site’s regulatory compliance, while phase 2 involves more sampling and analysis to determine the nature of any contamination.
Why Is Working With An Environmental Compliance Consultant Significant?
orking with an environmental compliance consultant is significant for businesses and organizations on several levels.
First, the most valuable contribute they provide is the peace of mind that you’ve complied with all applicable compliance requirements. You’re able to confidently move ahead with your project knowing the risk of legal penalties and stop work orders is reduced because you’ve adhered to all jurisidctional environmental laws.
Second, environmental consultants can identify and mitigate potential potential environmental risks before your project ever gets off the ground. These consultants can assess the project site, recommend measures to minimize environmental impact, and in some instances identify issues that make your project not feasible.
Finally, environmental compliance consultants can help optimize overall project efficiency. They can streamline processes by ensuring environmental considerations are part of initial project planning. This proactive approach This proactive approach not only reduces the likelihood of costly delays but can also foster a more environmentally conscious construction or development process.
Have compliance questions? For environmental compliance services, contact DFM on our website or at 703-942-8700.