As part of the Environmental Excellence Awards application, Practice Greenhealth wants to know whether your organization has any current U.S. EPA compliance violations. Applicants with significant violations of environmental regulations are not eligible for an Award. The credibility of the Practice Greenhealth Awards program is dependent upon not recognizing organizations with serious, unresolved environmental compliance violations, even when they have done great work in other areas.
Practice Greenhealth conducts a compliance screen on all award applicants, but we also request that you spend some time as part of your award application process finding out if your organization has environmental compliance issues. If you find violations on record, please contact us with details so we can help you evaluate their significance or likelihood of creating a barrier to receiving an award. Not all problems prevent your organization from winning an Award. Many applicants assume that if they are not personally aware of any violations, their organization probably doesn’t have any, but this is not always true, so look up your facility on ECHO.
Determining your compliance status
One step you can take to determine your compliance is to ask around. Environmental compliance may be overseen by several departments, so you will need to reach out to Environmental Health & Safety, Environmental Services, Risk Management, Legal, Facilities Management, Engineering, Regulatory Affairs, and Plant Operations. Check with these departments to get any pertinent information, including:
- We are only concerned with violations that occured or were unresolved during the calendar year of the Awards (for 2016 awards we are looking at 2015 compliance). This is true, even if you use the fiscal year (or other) to report data.
- What was the nature of any violation(s)?
- What steps were put in place to remedy any violation(s)?
- Is your facility back in compliance?
- Was there any real environmental damage done?
- Was there the possibility of real environmental damage?
- Was a fine assessed for the violation(s)?
- Has the facility fulfilled its obligations regarding this violation?
What to do if you have a violation
If your organization has a violation(s) during the 2015 calendar year, you may still be considered for an award. Ask the person who handles your hazardous waste and other relevant staff at your facility, to find out the details of the violation. Then please check with Practice Greenhealth to determine if you are still eligible for an award. Practice Greenhealth will consider the gravity, date of occurrence, and resolution status of any violations and may still choose to consider an award.
Please contact Lin Hill, Awards Coordinator, at 866-998-9973 with any questions about compliance violations and Practice Greenhealth awards eligibility.