All processes that utilize chemicals will produce some degree of impact on air and water quality, and will generate hazardous waste. These byproducts have the potential to enter and negatively impact the surrounding environment, and commonly do so via the following means:
- Contamination of water systems (i.e. sanitary, or storm water systems)
- Process or fugitive air emissions
- Improper disposal of hazardous wastes
- Accidental releases (i.e. spills)
As noted in the Chemicals Management Systems section, an effective chemicals management program will include established policies and procedures to address any potential emission to the environment. The foundation of managing environmental impacts includes the following:
- Having dedicated staff with the appropriate qualifications and knowledge regarding your facility’s environmental aspects and impacts.
- Identifying all legal requirements with respect to wastewater, air emissions, hazardous wastes, and non-hazardous wastes.
- Obtaining the required permits and/or licenses for any environmental discharges.
- Testing or monitoring to ensure the quantity and quality of all hazardous material discharges and emissions complies with relevant laws and permit requirements. This includes wastewater, air emissions, and hazardous waste discharges.
Environmental Management System Resources
Framework and/or certification from internationally recognized management systems such as ISO 140001 can be referenced or used in creating your environmental management program.
U.S. EPA Environmental Management Systems U.S. EPA Environmental Management Systems