Recipe for Compliance Success #1 : Corporate Commitment

Creating a successful stormwater program is like baking a cake. If you leave out any of the key ingredients, your program, like your cake, will fall flat. With fines of up to $37,500 per day per violation, you may not be able to stomach the results of a failed program. There are basically only five ingredients to a cost-effective, sustainable stormwater compliance program.

We’ll be covering all of these ingredients to success in our Recipe for Compliance Program Success series here.

The first and most important ingredient is making a Corporate Commitment to achieve regulatory compliance.

But, before ownership or upper-level management can make a real commitment they must have some idea of what they are committing the company to. They need to know what will be required of their employees to achieve compliance goals and clearly communicate that expectation to everyone in the organization. If left to the folks at the project or facility level, complying with many of the regulatory requirements often doesn’t seem to make common sense, or, may seem counter to project goals like saving money or cutting time out of the schedule. Therefore, compliance probably won’t happen unless the employee is certain that following the regulations is always the right priority.

Because the stormwater regulations are relatively new to our industry, many executives didn’t have to deal with them during their own field careers. They find the level of stormwater regulatory expectations hard to believe until a stop work order is issued or they suffer through an enforcement action on one of their projects. Most folks in the field have a better understanding of the current expectations and are willing and able to do what is required. They need to know meeting those expectations is important to the company and they need to be provided the training and the tools to get the job done right. Providing them the right tools is another commitment the company must make.

Executives should be encouraged to know that Corporate Commitment is by far the easiest of the five ingredients to implement. It really is as easy as making the decision to comply with the regulations, empower the employees with the training and tools they need and then commit 30 minutes each month thereafter to follow through. It may even be easier than baking a cake!

You can see the other posts in this Recipe for Compliance Program Success series here.

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