As an international manufacturer, you may have experience with robust environmental programs in your base of operations and other countries, but many new businesses to our area are finding different requirements in the United States and South Carolina, specifically. The end goal for all of these programs is the same: risk management and the protection of human health and the environment; however, the means to that end can be quite different when opening a new facility in our state.
Site Selection Your first introduction into the environmental and risk management arena starts before you have even purchased your site. “Due diligence” to identify recognized environmental conditions associated with property transactions before taking possession of that property is imperative.This due diligence occurs with an environmental professional conducting an environmental site assessment according to established ASTM standards, recognized by environmental agencies and lending institutions. Based on the results of the environmental site assessment, further investigation and review may be merited to ensure that you, as the new owner, are not responsible for site ground water and soil contamination and clean up resulting from previous site activities. “We have seen companies move to S.C. lacking awareness of the varying multimedia environmental guidelines and OSHA health and safety regulations set in place to protect our natural resources and its citizens,” said Tad Goetcheus, PE, vice president of HRP Associates, located in Greenville. “With the expertise of an environmental consultant, our newest corporate citizens can best assess, manage and reduce environmental risks, and obtain operational flexibility to manufacture efficiently and profitably in their new ventures here.”
Renovation, Demolition or Construction Associated with the Site Following site selection, the next environmental hurdle will be associated with the renovation, demolition or construction associated with the site. There are various environmental programs that are triggered depending on the nature and scope of these associated construction activities. For example, if you are going to remodel or demolish any part of the existing structure, an assessment for the presence of asbestos according to the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) is required. If asbestos is discovered, additional time and resources will be involved in addressing that asbestos prior to the renovation or demolition commencing. Other considerations include the assessment of mold, lead-based paint and polychlorinated biphenols (PCBs). Furthermore, special environmental stormwater or land use permits may apply should your construction involve activities such as disturbing more than one acre of land or impacting a wetland or waterway.