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Developing and Implementing An Environmental Management Program

Peter Keppler, David W. Delcour, Corporate Environmental Management (1993)

A number of factors have to be considered in developing a corporate environmental management program. Laws and regulations covering all aspects of the environmental impacts of business activity continue to be enacted at all levels of government. Simply trying to determine what environmental regulations govern a particular business or industry can be a daunting task.

The cost of complying with applicable environmental requirements can be very significant for mining and other natural resource industries. Meeting air and water quality standards and solid waste disposal restrictions at a large mining operation or industrial facility can entail substantial capital and operating costs. In addition, the staff time and cost of outside contractors to determine applicable requirements, obtain permits, assure compliance through periodic monitoring and reporting, and management oversight can be as great as the cost of pollution control equipment.

All of the major environmental laws now provide for substantial civil and criminal penalties for violations. For example, the Clean Water Act provides for civil penalties up to $25,000 per day of violation and criminal penalties of up to $50,000 per day of knowing violation of permit conditions or limitations. Negligence or knowing violations by the plant operator or responsible official can result in monetary fines and impriso