If you check industry news regularly, it’s guaranteed that you’ll find alarming examples of corrective or compliance action on an almost daily basis. There are countless news articles about companies, both big and small, dealing with the aftermath of uncovered regulatory violations. While it’s easy to separate yourself from those at fault, sometimes the alleged wrongdoing is not all that foreign or unimaginable.
But whether or not we can relate, we can (and should) agree that regulatory compliance is not just important – it’s essential. There are many reasons for this, including the obvious need to carefully consider the way our actions affect our environment and all those that call it home. But because the world of hazardous materials and waste is governed by strict regulation and can result in serious enforcement actions, regulatory compliance is also critical for the success and good name of your business.
Enforcement actions come in different forms, ranging from informal administrative actions to criminal actions resulting in imprisonment. There are also formal lawsuits, filed in court, called civil judicial actions. Enforcement actions are often embarrassing and time-intensive, but they can also be costly; heavy fines and penalties are commonplace.
For some businesses, these penalties might equate to nothing more than a minor annoyance and blighted image. For others, these penalties could break the business altogether.
To really drive this point home, let’s take a look at some recent examples:
- For improperly disposing of arsenic extracted from water systems, California American Water has been ordered to pay a $390,000 penalty.
- For illegally disposing of hazardous waste at more than 100 stores in California, Lowe’s Home Centers has been ordered to pay $18.1 million.
- For discharging brewery wastewater without the proper permits, The Pioneer Brewing Company has been ordered to pay $6,900.
- For selling and distributing unregistered and mis-branded pesticides to veterinary clinics and laboratories nationwide, Advanced Sterilization Products has been ordered to pay $136,800.
- For failing to document required records, a Nestlé USA plant has been ordered to pay $69,398.
Both the alleged offenses and assigned penalties vary in severity, though one thing remains consistent: regulatory compliance violations are expensive. Bear in mind, too, that this is just a list of fines – the full range of enforcement actions can include possibilities worse than any of these. It’s frightening, but there’s a bright side: enforcement actions are totally avoidable and unnecessary. Corrective and compliance action can remain something you only read about in the news – you need only play by the rules.
If you’re concerned about compliance issues, or have hazardous waste disposal concerns you would like handled in a sustainable and fully compliant manner, call Hazardous Waste Experts today at 800-936-2311.