If you run a small business, you still have to follow the environmental laws set out by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as well as your state. Being small doesn't exclude you from these rules. Here are three areas of environmental law that may impact your small business.
#1 Air Pollution
One area of the environment that is very well regulated is air pollution. Air pollution regulations do not just apply to factories with large smoke stacks; they could apply to your small business as well.
If your business emits any odors, fumes, or smoke at all, you may need to obtain a permit. For example, if you run a glass blowing business, you may need a permit for the use of gas and fumes that are created by the process. Or if you run an auto repair shop, you may need to obtain a permit or meet certain emission standards.
There are also rules around equipment, so if your business uses any type of equipment that creates exhaust, you need to make sure that you are meeting the emission standards for that type of equipment.
#2 Hazardous Waste
Another area that is very well regulated in regard to the environment is hazardous waste. There are hundreds of items that are considered hazardous waste, from things as simple as batteries and paint to specific chemical compounds and mixtures used for specialized processes.
Do not just think you can throw hazardous waste in the trash or pour it down the drain. Identify any type of hazardous waste materials that your business uses and creates, and make sure that you dispose of them properly.
#3 Endangered Species
You should always make sure that your businesses activities are not having a negative impact on the environment. That means making sure that your activates are not harming any wildlife or any plants that may be protected in your area. Find out what wild land and plants are protected in your area, and make sure that your business is not engaging in activities that could impact or harm them in a negative manner.
Sit down with an environmental lawyer like those at Moore Smith Buxton & Turcke-Chartered, and go over your business structure, setup, and plan, and make sure that there are not any specific environmental laws or regulations that you need to be aware of. It is much better to be proactive concerning matters of the environment than reactive, and working with an environmental lawyer is a great way to be proactive.