For waste management companies, EPA biennial report time can either be a massive headache or just another routine task. Are you scrambling around to compile report documents? How can you be certain you have everything in order?
Today, leading environmental services firms use modern software tools to improve business processes and stay EPA compliant. This not only saves valuable company resources, but it also can help avoid hefty fines or other stiff penalties.
Increased Exposure to Risk
There have been many high-profile non-compliance cases associated with improper waste management in the recent past. Walmart was fined $82 million and Home Depot $27.8 million for inadequate compliance, however, the EPA doesn’t just aim for large targets. The EHS Daily Advisor recently reported that higher EPA penalties for noncompliance have gone into effect this year.
For example, many maximum penalties have increased, including:
- Clean Air Act (CAA) – from $97,229 to $99,681 per day, per violation
- Clean Water Act (CWA) – from $53,484 to $54,833 per day, per violation
- Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA) – from $72,718 to $74,552 per day, per violation
- Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) – from $55,907 to $57,317 per day, per violation
- Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) – from $38,892 to $39,873 per day, per violation
- Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) – from $55,907 to $57,317 per day, per violation
- Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) – from $19,446 to $19,936 per day, per violation
Waste Management Software Advantages
Waste management software works by implementing online digital tools for major business operations. In the case of EPA documentation, everything is stored in a central, easy to access location. Also, forms are generated automatically which saves time and improves accuracy. The waste management software platform solves a wide range of everyday problems while simultaneously mitigating compliance risk. Let’s take a look at a few examples.
Small Mistakes, BIG fines
The EPA is notoriously rigid in their reporting requirements. Even typos or print “outside the lines” can trigger fines. Obviously, any company can appeal these decisions, but you probably won’t get far without incurring significant legal expenses. Either way, avoiding frivolous charges from even appearing is the best strategy.
Documents such as waste manifests and waste profiles may be subject to review by the EPA. When these forms are filled out completely and correctly, your company improves its compliance profile. When the forms are generated by a specialized waste management software platform, all the required fields are included. Also, you don’t have to worry about the format or text since the software makes sure everything lines up in place.
Faster EPA Biennial Report Preparation
For some waste companies, EPA biennial report time is dreaded like the plague. Waste management software streamlines the process to make report completion easier. For instance, instead of rummaging around in many physical or digital files spaces, the platform stores and organizes all the necessary documentation for you. With just a few clicks, you have everything you need at your fingertips. During the course of everyday business, important documents are completed and added automatically to the platform archives.
EPA e-Manifest Preparation
Waste management software also enables an end-to-end EPA e-Manifest workflow, including a direct connection to the EPA RCRAInfo Portal. This is another example of how the software makes completing, uploading, and filing documentation easier to improve your company’s compliance.
Don’t Survive Audits, Control Them Instead
If biennial reports are a headache, EPA audits are a nightmare. Still, leading waste management firms know that their success thrives on preparation. So instead of crossing their fingers hoping not to get audited, these companies are well prepared. With waste management software, any document the EPA asks for can be pulled up quickly. This means audits get finished faster and you avoid costly penalties. Now, you can get back to business sooner.
Physical Safety Backup
If your company still relies on physical documentation, this is a huge risk. Fire, theft, vandalism or natural disaster can render physical, and even digital files, useless. If you don’t have an off-site backup and your original copies get lost or damaged, you have no way to prove compliance in the event of an EPA audit. Plus, when biennial report time rolls around, you have nothing to present.
Waste management software not only speeds up document preparation, but it’s all stored in the cloud. In a way similar to email storage, all documents can be retrieved from any computer with an Internet connection. So even if your office system gets damaged, you never lose important documentation.
Benefits Entire Company
Thus far we’ve explored the benefits waste management software provides towards EPA compliance issues. These same principles can be applied to other areas of your business as well. One example is quote generation. Digital tools accelerate this process, and in many cases the company that is the first to quote wins the job.
Similar benefits can be seen in the sales, customer management, operations, and finance areas of your company. One big advantage is transitioning from slow manual work to rapid, automated processes. Also, with a software platform, your company reach expands dramatically as more people are connected online these days.
Resistant to Change
In many ways, the waste industry is slow to adopt new business technologies. However, in every sector worldwide the writing is on the wall. Fast, innovative companies continue to outpace competitors. Many environmental service providers are in for a rude awakening if they think they are immune to this new reality. Meanwhile, those that adapt will advance faster and capture more market share.
Industry Specific Solutions
The business management software industry thrives due to the solid benefits it provides to companies. Still, one mistake some waste firms make is to go with a generic, one-size-fits-all software provider. Just because they have a big name, doesn’t mean they understand the waste sector.
The best strategy is to get your software from a provider like PegEx that intimately understands environmental services. For example, regarding EPA compliance and waste profiles, you want to be certain that all the required document fields are included. A software provider that knows the waste industry will serve your needs precisely, improve compliance, and boost business growth.
To learn more about PegEx software for waste management companies and waste generators, call PegEx at (888) 681-9616 or click here to learn more and request a free demo.