What Is An Environmental Compliance Audit?

An environmental compliance audit is used to determine whether a facility and its day to day operations are following the necessary environmental regulations. Environmental regulatory compliance audits using the ASTM E2107-06 will also identify places for improvement in environmental management systems which will lead to reduction in legal and financial liabilities.

Evaluating compliance internally is an important facet of corporate risk management and will allow an organization to address issues immediately and avoid legal penalties. Cleaning up property that has been contaminated can be cripplingly expensive, so it is important to identify risks immediately.

Issues found in an environmental compliance Kansas City audits include: improper storage, handling or disposal of hazardous substances, misuse of equipment that leads to spills or other releases of hazardous material, faulty equipment, human health risks, improper permitting, and inadequate recordkeeping. A thorough audit will allow an owner to correct these issues and limit dangerous situations, penalties and liability.

Environmental compliance audits can be used to determine compliance with:

  • EPA requirements
  • Hazardous materials disposal and management
  • UST and AST inspection, testing and removal
  • ASTM E2107-06
  • Resource conservation and recovery act

Environmental audits are often done prior to real estate transactions to determine whether there are environmental problems or issues that a new owner would assume responsibility for.

In the corporate world, the scope and quality of environmental audits changes based on the needs of the company. Some use onetime audits of major facilities and operations, some do a paper audit of all programs without any physical inspection, while others have a more proactive stance and do more detailed audits on a regular basis.

The EPA says an effective auditing system should include the following:

  • Owner and management support for the audit, and commitment to address all findings
  • Allocation of sufficient resources (staff, training and equipment) to create a detailed audit
  • Specific objectives and timing of audit activities
  • Environmental auditing function independent of the audited activities
  • Quality assurance procedures that assure the audit procedure is accurate and thorough
  • Collection, interpretation and documentation of information gathered
  • Specific procedures to report audit findings, and scheduling and taking corrective action.