Recent EPA Decisions Impacting Business Opportunities

The National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) are air quality standards that are set for pollutants, such as ozone and sulfur dioxide (SO2), at levels necessary to protect the public from adverse effects from that pollutant.  If an area exceeds the level, controls and restrictions are placed on emission sources within the area until the standard is achieved.

However, while these controls and restrictions may serve to reduce the level of pollutants over time, they also serve to make growth and expansion more expensive and difficult.  A company seeking to construct or expand a facility in a non-attainment area generally must spend additional money to install the mandated air pollution control equipment.  These added costs, along with additional permitting costs, may make the project too expensive.  In turn, suppliers, contractors, and others who might be involved in the project do not realize that opportunity.  Anyone doing business in the Houston or Baton Rouge areas know the limitations imposed by a failure to attain the NAAQS for ozone. Continue reading “Recent EPA Decisions Impacting Business Opportunities”

Environmental Issues Facing Auto Dealers

Automotive dealerships face numerous challenges in the current economic climate.An ongoing challenge, in good times and bad, is ensuring that environmental liability and the associated costs are minimized as much as possible so that capital is are not needlessly expended.The risk of liability may be minimized by taking several pro-active steps.

Limiting Liability for Past Contamination

It should not come as a surprise that the owner of an automotive dealership will be held liable for spills and releases of spent solvents, used oil, gasoline, or other pollutants or contaminants into soil, surface water, or groundwater that occur when the owner is in control of the property.Compliance with the regulations and good housekeeping, discussed in greater detail below, may limit the risk of these spills or releases.Unfortunately, however, environmental practices or controls were not as stringent in the past as they are today.Spills and releases of pollutants that occurred many years ago continue to persist today in soil and groundwater at or under the property. Continue reading “Environmental Issues Facing Auto Dealers”

Environmental Protection at Construction Sites

Both Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) seek, through regulation, to limit the pollutants that are discharged from construction sites. Some recent developments may impact your current or future operations at these types of sites.

Stormwater Management

EPA tightened its regulation of storm water discharges from construction sites. These regulations, formally called effluent limitations guidelines, or ELGs, are essentially more detailed and elaborate best management practices (BMPs) to be used during construction activities. By using these more stringent and detailed BMPs, EPA hopes to decrease the amount of pollutants, such as oil and grease or sediments, in the storm water that leaves a construction site. Continue reading “Environmental Protection at Construction Sites”