Environmental Management Plans are important for protecting construction investments and avoiding lawsuits. These plans review important information such as government guidelines, local building codes, how the construction will impact traffic and the surrounding environment, noise pollution concerns and much more. Without a proper plan in place, the construction project could be bogged down by regulatory fines and even lawsuits.
Lawsuits Over Environmental Changes
Something that developers must consider is how the project will affect storm water run-off throughout the area. In a case in New England, a developer was sued after claims that his project was allowing storm run-off to go into surrounding areas. The company had built a retention pond to catch the runoff, but an inspection found that the pond was not functioning properly. The EMP seeks to prevent lawsuits by looking closely at the area to determine how best to avoid environmental changes along neighboring properties. In addition to taking the initial steps, they may also put emergency plans into place for dealing with rain volumes that are higher than normal or other contingencies.
In another case, environmental groups have temporarily shut down construction of a project that is designed to provide renewable energy and reduce the amount of rubbish going to landfills. The groups argue that it’s essentially an incinerator that will destroy air quality. With an EMP in place, the developer could show the courts research and solid data to support their claims. Without this information in place ahead of time, projects can fall victim to special interest groups that don’t want to see them move forward.
Keeping Costs Down
Fines for failing to follow regulations can destroy the profit margin on any project. In Boise, Idaho, a construction company is facing heavy fines for asbestos violations. According to government regulations, cement pipe containing asbestos is only safe as long as it is full intact. If the pipe breaks, it must be contained to prevent the fibers from becoming airborne. In this case, a construction company failed to properly follow the protocol when broken cement pipes were not properly disposed of. The EPA claims that it spent $3.9 million on the cleanup, and the construction company responsible is now facing a fine of $100,000 plus three years of probation. An EMP may have suggested different protocol for monitoring and overseeing the cleanup. Governments have the power to levy fines for all manner of environmental and building violations, so it’s important to keep costs down by learning as much as possible about regulations and ensuring that they’re followed.There are numerous companies offering EMP services, it would be wise for all contractors and builders to ensure to look at some examplesbefore placing an order.
As a contractor, it’s wise to look for a company that offers plans that are easy to read so that potential investors can confirm the information before making a decision. The right EMP should also be customizable to allow for the changes that frequently occur with any project. With the right support in place, it’s easier for contractors and developers to remain in full compliance with the law