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What Is Environmental Permitting and When Is It Required?

What Is Environmental Permitting and When Is It Required?

Across a number of industries, it’s possible for companies to often perform work that may impact the environment. Depending on various factors, it might be necessary for such organizations to obtain permits from local governments and other relevant agencies to operate within particular regions.

Environmental permitting specialists can assist them in these matters. This guide will explain what environmental permitting consists of and what role companies offering environmental permitting services can play in helping organizations like yours streamline their operations.

What Is Environmental Permitting?

Various types of work that might involve the use of hazardous materials (such as construction and engineering) have the potential to disrupt the environment. How they do so may affect the health of residents of the areas in which such work is performed if certain precautions are not taken. To do this type of work, it’s often necessary for companies to obtain environmental permits.

Proper environmental permitting minimizes the odds of a company’s operations harming the natural environment or the health of the people living or working near where said work is being performed. Although the specific conditions of an environmental permit can vary on a case-by-case basis, generally, environmental permits define the conditions a company must abide by in order to limit adverse environmental consequences. Perhaps more importantly, they ensure that companies performing this type of work are protected from legal consequences as long as they abide by the terms of their permits.

Don’t mistakenly assume that requiring companies to obtain environmental permits is unfairly restrictive. On the contrary, by acquiring the necessary permits, an organization can more easily operate within a given area without the company’s owners or top decision-makers needing to worry about the possibility of running into legal trouble. Team leaders that acquire an environmental permit will still need to actively familiarize themselves with the conditions of their permits to take full advantage of the benefits they are meant to offer. It’s always easier to avoid legal difficulties associated with violating environmental regulations when your company can prove it has taken steps to secure the permits required to operate in a given area.

When Are Environmental Permits Required?

There aren’t necessarily any universal standards regarding when environmental permits are and are not required. In general, obtaining such permits is necessary when the nature of the work a company is performing could theoretically affect the environment in a manner that could also impact the health of people and/or animal populations in the neighboring areas.

For example, it’s not uncommon for construction projects to have the potential to affect water supplies. Therefore, agencies such as the EPA require companies to obtain permits that grant them legal permission to complete these types of projects in a manner that limits the odds of environmental harm.

However, since we are constantly identifying various ways in which such projects can impact the environment, we are also constantly identifying new methods of effectively addressing the ways organizations must avoid causing unexpected environmental consequences. Because of this, laws pertaining to environmental permitting may be adjusted quite frequently.

The lack of universal standards regarding when environmental permits are required is also because various agencies and organizations may enforce their own sets of environmental regulations. For example, obtaining the necessary permits to conduct engineering or architectural work in a given region may involve coordinating with the county, state, and federal agencies.

The Role of Environmental Engineering Companies

Familiarizing yourself with environmental permitting requirements is not necessarily a task you need to address on your own. It’s a complex topic. If you’re not a specialist, you might overlook certain factors that can influence the degree to which your company does or does not comply with the applicable regulations.

This highlights one of the many reasons it is often wise to enlist the help of companies that specialize in providing environmental engineering and permitting services. Although the specific nature of the services they offer may vary depending on the clients with whom they are coordinating, they typically assist clients in identifying the environmental permitting requirements that pertain to the work they’re performing, helping them obtain the needed requirements accordingly.

It’s critical not to overlook the value of working with such a company in situations when environmental permits may be required. While the consequences of an environmental permitting violation can depend on the location in which a violation occurred, in most instances, they can have a significant impact on whether a company can continue performing its work efficiently with minimal interruptions.

You should also consider how being found guilty of overlooking environmental permitting requirements can negatively impact your company’s overall reputation among potential customers. For example, recent surveys and studies have indicated that the average consumer is now more inclined to give their business to companies that have demonstrated an interest in prioritizing sustainability. This type of research suggests that today’s consumers (both individuals and organizations) are looking to support companies that appreciate the value of protecting the environment.

Remaining Compliant

The above section of this overview only touched on the basic reasons staying compliant with environmental permitting requirements may be important. The overall point worth remembering is that it can be a challenge to determine the specific details of said requirements when you are also attempting to plan a construction project or any other type of work operation that has the potential to cause environmental issues. However, failing to adhere to these requirements can also prevent your company from fulfilling your clients’ demands in a timely manner.

Complying with all relevant environmental permitting requirements is much easier when you hire professionals whose main focus is staying up-to-date on these requirements and providing environmental permitting services to organizations like yours.

With locations in Cocoa, Newberry, Tampa, and Titusville, Florida, our team at AOTC is thoroughly prepared to serve your environmental permitting needs. Contact us to discover how our environmental engineering services will help your business.

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