THE ENVIRONMENTAL SELF-AUDIT FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

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1 THE ENVIRONMENTAL SELF-AUDIT FOR SMALL BUSINESSES A QUICK AND EASY GUIDE TO ENVIRONMENTAL COMPLIANCE Prepared for Small Businesses in New York State by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Pollution Prevention Unit George E. Pataki, Governor Erin M. Crotty, Commissioner

2 CONTENTS How to Use This Book... iii Examples of Small Businesses That May Need Environmental Permits... iv Introduction...1 The Environmental Self-Audit for Small Businesses...3 Air...4 Water...8 Land Use...12 Petroleum and Chemical Storage Tanks...16 Solid Waste...18 Hazardous Materials-An Overview...21 Hazardous Raw Materials...24 Hazardous Products...26 Hazardous Wastes...27 The New York State SEQR Process...31 Referrals to Local Environmental Testing Specialists...33 Chemical and Petroleum Spills...33 Glossary of Terms and Laws...34 Resource Guide State and Local Assistance...41 NYSDEC...42 NYSDEC Regional Offices...43 Federal Assistance...44 Resources on the Internet...45 The Environmental Self-Audit for Small Businesses ii

3 HOW TO USE THIS BOOK The environmental self-audit in this book should be useful anytime in the business life cycle while the business is in the planning stages, during regular business operations, and before an expansion, operating change or purchase of a new business. If all diagnostic questions are answered yes or not applicable, contact state and local government agencies to confirm that the business is in compliance with all pertinent environmental regulations, and to determine when current environmental permits should be renewed. If the response to some or all of the diagnostic questions in the self-audit is no or cannot determine, it indicates that your business may need to conduct a more thorough evaluation of your environmental compliance. Use the results of the self-audit to create a working list of the areas that need to be evaluated. You may need to contact an environmental firm, consulting engineer or an environmental attorney to obtain expert assistance in making necessary operating changes or completing permit applications. State and local government agencies may be contacted to explain the permitting process and to answer specific questions. A series of shortcuts is offered below for the reader who wishes to glance quickly through the text. Page Consult the list of small businesses that may need environmental permits to see whether your firm fits in any of these categories... iv Air for diagnostic questions about air emissions...4 Water for diagnostic questions about water emissions...8 Land Use for diagnostic questions about past, present or future use of business site...12 Petroleum and Chemical Storage Tanks for diagnostic questions about bulk storage...16 Solid Waste for diagnostic questions about recycling and disposal of products...18 Hazardous Materials for diagnostic questions about raw materials, manufactured products and wastes...21 The glossary is included to help small businesses interpret language in pertinent environmental regulations and permit applications...34 Use the resource guide when searching for expert assistance...41 The Environmental Self-Audit for Small Businesses iii

4 EXAMPLES OF SMALL BUSINESSES THAT MAY NEED ENVIRONMENTAL PERMITS appliance repair shops automobile repair shops asphalt manufacturers assembly shops auto body shops bakeries building cleaning and maintenance firms car washes chemical manufacturers construction firms dentists distilleries doctors offices dry cleaners educational and vocational shops equipment repair firms farms fuel oil distributors foundries funeral services furniture manufacturing and repair gasoline service stations graphic arts house or architectural structure painters garages interior decorators laboratories laundromats leather manufacturers lumber mills metallurgical industries metal treatment plating operations photo processing plastics manufacturing print shops refrigeration/air conditioning service restaurants small engine repair shops solvent metal cleaners textiles manufacturing trucking companies veterinary facilities vineyards wood working and refinishing firms The Environmental Self-Audit for Small Businesses iv

5 INTRODUCTION Many small companies find it difficult to keep abreast of changes in environmental regulations and permitting procedures. However, staying current is important because a company that ignores these regulations may be polluting the air, land and water, and may also face significant administrative, civil and/or criminal penalties involving both personal and corporate liability. This guide is intended to help small businesses in New York State comply with local, state and federal environmental regulations. Included is information for the company that is about to begin operations, for the business that has never examined its environmental impact before, and for the firm that is about to move, expand or embark on a new business venture. This guide may also be used to help any business that is trying to comply with environmental regulations. For small businesses with limited resources, the self-audit in this guide should serve as a preliminary self-diagnostic tool to identify areas of possible environmental compliance problems in the general regulatory categories of air, water, land use, petroleum and chemical storage tanks, solid waste and hazardous materials. Though not comprehensive, the environmental self-audit can prove worthwhile as a preventive strategy in much the same way that an internal financial audit can help companies avoid violations of local, state and federal tax laws. It can help companies in identifying and obtaining needed environmental permits. It can also help companies that do not need permits to change operating procedures to prevent damage to the environment and to comply with pollution prevention laws. Businesses that practice pollution prevention can benefit the environment by producing less waste and reducing the transfer of waste from one environmental media to another. Furthermore, business competitiveness can be improved through greater efficiency, wiser energy use, increased product quality and enhanced public image. However, often the greatest incentive to practicing pollution prevention is the company's financial bottom line. The self-audit is designed for non-expert business persons who need to evaluate whether their small businesses are ready to contact a local, state or federal environmental regulatory agency or other compliance assistance provider. Some small businesses may need to obtain comprehensive lists of relevant regulations and permits, scientific evaluation and documentation of environmental violations as well as a fully implemented program of operational changes before permit applications may be successfully filed. For these companies, the results of the self-audit may indicate that the services of a consulting engineer or attorney are needed. Technical assistance may be available from certain universities and agencies. The assistance of an attorney would also prove helpful for the small business that determines it may have committed violations of environmental regulations. Under the Clean Air Act, three New York State agencies participate in a program entitled "Small Business Stationary Source Technical and Environmental Compliance Assistance Program" which can provide free assistance to small businesses in understanding their obligations and achieving compliance with air emission regulations. The Empire State Development's Division for Small Business acts as the ombudsman and provides general information on State and Federal regulations, sets up workshops and handles complaints. The Environmental Facilities Corporation provides free technical The Environmental Self-Audit for Small Businesses 1

6 assistance to small business under its Small Business Assistance Program. The Department of Environmental Conservation's Division of Air Resources provides regulatory oversight. Don't be discouraged by the sometimes difficult process of identifying and addressing environmental compliance problems. Over the long haul, the measurable benefits of conducting and responding to regular environmental self-audits may include reductions in environmental hazards, exposure to enforcement, fines, insurance rates, waste handling costs and accident statistics. Benefits also may include an improved compliance record, improved worker health and a better work environment. Intangible benefits may include better relations with regulatory agencies, improved employee morale, favorable publicity and a stronger corporate reputation for integrity. The often complex environmental regulations, permit requirements and penalties for violations have been omitted from this guide. Additional information may be obtained by contacting environmental agencies and assistance organizations listed herein "A Resource Guide", many of which will also provide referrals to environmental engineering firms, consultants and attorneys. The guide provides extremely useful information, but there is no guarantee, expressed or implied, that the information provided will satisfy all possible conditions and requirements for businesses to comply successfully with all state and federal environmental regulations. Because the identifying numbers and names of relevant environmental permits may change from year to year, this information is also omitted from this guide. Remember, regulations are continually updated. When in doubt on whether a permit is required, or whether some new requirements have gone into effect consult with your New York State Department of Environmental Conservation regional office, or consult agencies in "A Resource Guide" for more information This publication is the result of the collaborative efforts of New York State economic development agencies, universities and environmental regulators, each of which recognized a need to assist small businesses with their environmental concerns. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Empire State Development s Division for Small Business provided the staff, resources and technical assistance required for the development and publication of this guide as a statewide resource. Organizations that contributed ideas and resources to the Environmental Self Audit for Small Business include: the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation, the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency, the State University of New York College at Fredonia Center for Business and Industry and the State University College at Buffalo Center for Environmental Research and Education. The Environmental Self-Audit for Small Businesses 2

7 THE ENVIRONMENTAL SELF AUDIT FOR SMALL BUSINESSES Consider the following checklist as a guide for a diagnostic tour of a small business. Companies are advised to regularly conduct routine self-audits to evaluate compliance and determine what changes need to be made including new permits that are needed or when old permits should be renewed or revised. A firm that responds to the questions in this checklist should consider this self-auditing process as preparation for evaluating compliance with local, state and federal environmental regulatory guidelines. Review each chapter with a group of people who are most familiar with business operations, such as the company owner, operations manager, construction engineers, shipping, inventory, and purchasing managers and supervisory staff. Their responses to the self audit questions should indicate whether potential hazards or polluting activities are occurring that require permits and/or operational changes. The environmental self-audit is only one in a series of steps that a small business should take to determine its regulatory compliance and identify suitable methods of waste reduction. The audit checklist would be most effective when used with related tools, such as workshops and publications targeted to this topic. Unless a company has engineering and legal experts on staff who are familiar with local, state and federal environmental regulations, outside expertise will often be needed in the areas of regulatory requirements, relevant environmental control technologies, manufacturing operations and processes, legal considerations, management systems, scientific disciplines needed to identify potential hazards and environmental management practices at peer companies and facilities. Pragmatic, progressive companies will use the audit process to achieve two goals: to evaluate current business practices and to create management control systems, procedures and record keeping practices adequate to assure future compliance with environmental regulations. Remember that for many types of business activities, permits are necessary before the business opens, for the ongoing operation of the business, to expand a facility, in the event of a name change and upon the purchase of a fully permitted business. The Environmental Self-Audit for Small Businesses 3

8 SELF AUDIT CHECKLIST AIR Review each question carefully and check the appropriate box. Any "no" or cannot determine answers are indicators that a potential problem exists and should be investigated further. Take notes on the questions that received a "no" or a cannot determine response and use this self-audit information to create a working list of environmental compliance issues that may require further investigation. Whenever possible, add to this list your best estimate of the quantity, concentration and name of the material involved. In some instances, a "no" response may indicate operational changes or permits are necessary. However, this will not be true in every case. Further information from regulatory agencies, environmental engineers or attorneys may be needed to make this determination, as many regulatory issues are linked to the quantities of materials used or discarded in the air, land or water. Air emission is the release of any dust, fume, gas, mist, odor, smoke or vapor, or any combination of them, to the outside atmosphere. PLEASE NOTE: 6 NYCRR Part 201, Permits and Registrations, underwent a significant revision in 1996 and numerous small sources are now able to obtain a simplified Registration form or are no longer required to obtain a permit. However, other emission control and record keeping requirements may still apply even if your business is exempt from permitting. (1) If the company has air emissions, has the firm investigated whether it complies with state and federal requirements for these air emissions? (2) If the company's activities result in air emissions, have these been identified, measured and documented? (3) Does the company have an up-to-date site plan or blueprint showing all existing sources of air pollution? (4) Has the company evaluated the need for a facility Registration or Permit under 6 NYCRR Part 201? The Environmental Self-Audit for Small Businesses 4

9 (5) If the company installed a new boiler after June 9, 1989 with a heat input of 10 million BTU per hour or greater, was a DEC permit obtained and was EPA notified of the installation? (6) Does the company keep yearly records of all raw materials consumed in the manufacture of its products and does the firm use these raw material records to calculate annual emissions and confirm that any emission limits are not exceeded? (7) If the company burns any waste as fuel at its facility, has it determined whether a facility Registration or Permit under 6 NYCRR Part 201 is required to operate a stationary combustion unit? (8) If the company plans to construct a facility that is not specifically exempted from 6 NYCRR Part 201, has the firm obtained state approval to construct and operate the facility? (9) Does the company periodically monitor whether its facilities remain in compliance with the conditions and compliance certifications or the permit? (10) If a company with a currently registered or permitted facility plans to make a modification, has the company determined whether this change will subject the facility to additional or new legal (including notifications) requirements? (11) If there is an upset of any kind with the plant's air pollution equipment, are the appropriate government agencies required to be notified? If so, have they been? The Environmental Self-Audit for Small Businesses 5

10 (12) Has the company controlled all sources of potential neighborhood nuisances, such as dust from unpaved roads, conveyors or uncovered storage piles, or excessive noise from heavy equipment and trucks? (13) If the company has ever received complaints from neighbors regarding odors or paint particulate fallout from spraying operation, has the company eliminated or controlled these emissions and have the complaints stopped? (14) If the company is a dry cleaner and uses perchloroethylene solvent, is the facility in compliance with the requirements of 6 NYCRR Part 232? (15) If the company's activities result in noise pollution, has the firm investigated whether the volume, frequency and duration of excessive noise is in accordance with restrictions in municipal codes? (16) If gas or diesel-powered motor vehicles are used in the day-to-day operation of the business, is maintenance conducted on a regular basis to meet regular inspection standards? (17) If stationary engines are used at the business, have emissions levels been tested and has any needed permit or Registration been obtained? (18) For graphic arts companies, has compliance with 6 NYCRR Part 234 and the EPA National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) been evaluated? (19) For funeral homes and veterinary facilities which operate crematories, has compliance with requirements of 6 NYCRR Subpart been evaluated? The Environmental Self-Audit for Small Businesses 6

11 (20) For mineral products industries, has compliance with the EPA New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for Hot Mix Asphalt (Subpart I) and Nonmetallic Mineral Processing (Subpart OOO) been evaluated? (21) For industries which operate solvent degreasers, has compliance with 6 NYCRR Part 226 and the EPA National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) Subpart T been evaluated? (22) For industries which use surface coatings to produce products such as metal or wood furniture, has compliance with 6 NYCRR Part 228 and the EPA National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) been evaluated? (23) If your business has a gasoline dispensing site, does it comply with the vapor recovery requirements of 6 NYCRR Part 230? The Environmental Self-Audit for Small Businesses 7

12 SELF AUDIT CHECKLIST WATER Review each question carefully and check the appropriate box. Any "no" or cannot determine answers are indicators that a potential problem exists and should be investigated further. Take notes on the questions that received a "no" or a cannot determine response and use this self-audit information to create a working list of environmental compliance issues that may require further investigation. Whenever possible, add to this list your best estimate of the quantity, concentration and name of the material involved. In some instances, a "no" response may indicate operational changes or permits are necessary. However, this will not be true in every case. Further information from regulatory agencies, environmental engineers or attorneys may be needed to make this determination, as many regulatory issues are linked to the quantities of materials used or discarded in the air, land or water. Wastewater discharge is the release of sewage, industrial wastewater, stormwater or other pollutants to surface or groundwater. (1) If the company is located in the counties of Kings (Brooklyn), Nassau, Queens or Suffolk and if it has the capacity to withdraw water from underground sources in excess of 45 gallons per minute, does the company have a Long Island Well permit? (2) Has the company investigated whether it complies with local, state and federal regulations for all wastewater discharges? (3) If the company's activities result in wastewater discharges, have these been identified, measured and documented? (4) Does the company have an up-to-date site plan or blueprint showing all existing sources of water discharges? (5) If the company discharges wastewater into a municipal treatment system, is it in compliance with all municipal and federal pre-treatment requirements? The Environmental Self-Audit for Small Businesses 8

13 (6) If the company discharges its wastewater into rivers, streams or lakes, or onto the ground, does it have a SPDES permit for doing so? (7) If the company is discharging wastewater from floor drains (including sanitary sewage, industrial waste, wash water, stormwater, etc.) onto the ground, into streams, ponds, rivers, or into the groundwater, has it obtained a SPDES permit? (8) If the company disposes of wastewaters into ground water, or subsurface waters, does it have a SPDES permit for doing so? (9) If the business has wastewater discharges and was recently purchased, have SPDES permits been transferred to the new owner for these activities? (10) If water is currently used as a cleaning or cooling agent, is the water disposed of properly, in accordance with state regulations? (11) Are all of the company's state SPDES permits to discharge wastewater up-to-date? (12) If the company has up-to-date SPDES permits to discharge wastewater, does it continuously monitor whether its facilities remain in compliance with the conditions on these permits? (13) Does the company regularly observe the discharges from its discharge points to determine whether these are producing excessive pollution? (14) If the company plans to modify a facility that discharges wastewater, has the firm obtained state approval for this modification? The Environmental Self-Audit for Small Businesses 9

14 (15) Does the company keep yearly records of all raw materials consumed in the manufacture of its products, and does the firm also compare these raw material records to the volume and types of materials in its wastewater? (16) If there is an upset of any kind with the plant's water pollution equipment, are the appropriate government agencies always notified? (17) If the company has an industrial activity which is exposed to storm water, does the company have a permit to discharge this storm water? (18) If the company's facility is located in a coastal erosion hazard area and is conducting any type of regulated activity, was a permit or variance obtained? (19) If the business is involved in marine aquaculture activities or the importation, introduction or transplanting of marine animals or plants, does it have a permit? (20) If the company constructed any structures or authorized any development in a 100-year flood plain, was the design of the structures, or the use of the land or hydraulic impact of the development consistent with local government flood plain development standards, and did the company obtain a local permit? (Note: Local government and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation regional offices, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have flood plain maps and other information available from which a company may determine if it is located in a 100-year flood plain.) The Environmental Self-Audit for Small Businesses 10

15 (21 If the company is located in the Susquehanna River Drainage Basin and it withdraws water from either a surface or ground-water source in excess of a 30-day average of 100,000 gallons per day, or if it consumes (e.g. evaporates, incorporates into a product) in excess of a 30-day average of 20,000 gallons per day, has the company contacted the Susquehanna River Basin Commission for an approval? (See SRBC website for more details) The Environmental Self-Audit for Small Businesses 11

16 SELF AUDIT CHECKLIST LAND USE Review each question carefully and check the appropriate box. Any "no" or cannot determine answers are indicators that a potential problem exists and should be investigated further. Take notes on the questions that received a "no" or a cannot determine response and use this self-audit information to create a working list of environmental compliance issues that may require further investigation. Whenever possible, add to this list your best estimate of the quantity, concentration and name of the material involved. In some instances, a "no" response may indicate operational changes or permits are necessary. However, this will not be true in every case. Further information from regulatory agencies, environmental engineers or attorneys may be needed to make this determination, as many regulatory issues are linked to the quantities of materials used or discarded in the air, land or water. (l) Has the company investigated whether it complies with all local, state and federal regulations on land use? (2) Has the business site been evaluated to determine whether it includes a marsh or wetland area (as defined by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)? (3) If the company has begun or is about to undertake any of the following activities in a freshwater or tidal wetlands area, has it obtained permits for: construction of buildings or accessory structures, roadways, septic systems, bulkheads, shoreline stabilization structures, dikes or dams? placement of fill, excavation or grading? modification, expansion or extensive restoration of existing structure? drainage, except for agriculture? application of pesticides? The Environmental Self-Audit for Small Businesses 12

17 (4) If the company plans to disturb a river, stream or lake through building or repairing a dam, dredging, or stabilizing a bank, has it obtained a permit or 401 certification for this activity? (5) If the company's facility is located in a coastal erosion hazard area and is conducting any type of regulated activity, was a permit or variance obtained? (6) If the company plans to perform any development activities on the land or modify any uses of the land in any designated wild, scenic, and recreational river system area, has it obtained a permit for this activity? (7) If there are known historic and archaeological sites on the site, have steps been taken to protect and preserve these sites? (8) If the company started any fires on forest lands (public or private) as a vegetative management tool, has it obtained authorization from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation? (9) If the company used any state lands, has it obtained a permit? (10) If the company is located in the Adirondack or Catskill Parks, has it obtained a permit for any sign that it has erected? (11) Have all necessary soil and site inspections been conducted? The Environmental Self-Audit for Small Businesses 13

18 (12) What is known about prior use of the site: were raw materials stored, shipped or processed on the site? were electrical transformers, asbestos sources, fuel storage areas and waste disposal areas on the site? are there any process pits, ponds or lagoons on site? A map should be prepared for your records/files if any of the above activities occurred on the business site. (13) If the company is mining sand, gravel or other mineral materials on the business site in excess of 1000 tons in twelve successive months, does it: have a permit for this activity, maintain required financial security and are all regulatory fees paid? (14) If the company is closing a sand, gravel, or other mineral mine, has a reclamation plan been developed and approved under the permit? (15) If the company explores for, develops or produces natural gas, oil or salt solution wells or stores natural gas or liquefied petroleum gas underground in natural geologic cavities (not tanks), are the wells and/or natural geologic cavities registered with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and has the company submitted an annual well report for each well? (16) If the company drilled any new natural gas, oil, salt solution or storage wells or stratigraphic, geothermal or brine disposal wells deeper than 500 feet, was a separate permit obtained to drill each new well? The Environmental Self-Audit for Small Businesses 14

19 (17) If the company has any abandoned natural gas, oil, salt solution or storage wells or stratigraphic, geothermal or brine disposal wells deeper than 500 feet on its property, have all the abandoned wells been registered with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and have all the abandoned wells been plugged? The Environmental Self-Audit for Small Businesses 15

20 SELF AUDIT CHECKLIST PETROLEUM AND CHEMICAL STORAGE TANKS The following questions pertain to the NYS Petroleum Bulk Storage Regulations (6 NYCRR Parts ) and the NYS Chemical Bulk Storage Regulations (6 NYCRR Parts ). Review each question carefully and check the appropriate box. Any "no" or cannot determine answers are indicators that a potential problem exists and should be investigated further. Take notes on the questions that received a "no" or a cannot determine response and use this self-audit information to create a working list of environmental compliance issues that may require further investigation. Whenever possible, add to this list your best estimate of the quantity, concentration and name of the material involved. In some instances, a "no" response may indicate operational changes or permits are necessary. However, this will not be true in every case. Further information from regulatory agencies, environmental engineers or attorneys may be needed to make this determination, as many regulatory issues are linked to the quantities of materials used or discarded in the air, land or water. (1) Are all tanks on-site appropriately registered with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation? (2) Have all tanks that are no longer in use been properly closed and de-listed from the registration? (3) For chemical tanks, has a Spill Prevention Report been developed and signed by management within the last 12 months? (4) Were all petroleum tanks that were installed after December 1986, or all chemical tanks that were installed after February 1995, installed according to NYS bulk storage standards? (5) Does the company have a spill prevention, control and counter measures plan? The Environmental Self-Audit for Small Businesses 16

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