World Water Day is March 22, 2020!
Water. It is refreshing, it is significant, it corrodes. Water is essential for those industries that heavily depend on it, while pleasant for those who don’t. In fact, it is crucial for human survival. However, more often than not it is taken for granted. The Clean Water Act is the federal law regulating pollutants discharged to waters of the United States. The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), commonly referred to as Stormwater, is a branched program from the perplexing Clean Water Act that involves water runoff (generated by precipitation) generation from surfaces (streets, sidewalks, parking lots, etc). NPDES permits contain limits on what can be discharged, along with monitoring and reporting requirements, and other provisions to ensure that discharges do not violate water quality or harm human health.
Stormwater permits are applicable to municipalities and counties, various industries such as mining and construction, and industrial setting businesses. Individual permits will have specific regulatory requirements, depending on which phase (Phase I or Phase II) your geographically located in, what your business or industry does, and the agency (federal or state) that issue and enforce the permit. Monitoring and sampling requirements, education requirements, data collection and analysis, annual reporting, and many more can all be very over-cumbersome to a virgin who is responsible for making it all happen. Equally the same, to a junior or senior who maybe a lackluster conductor allowing the band to play out of sequence.
Regardless of what type of permit issued, the regulatory obligations a permit legally bounds you to, or who is orchestrating the entire program; there is no program without your team. Not to mention, a major risk to the success of a stormwater program is your team. Its one thing if you’re building a team, its another if your established team is ready to enter the next level. Business and programmatic goals may not be achieved if you don’t have a solid team, or if your team is not on board. An ingenious team leader, knows their team (individually and as a whole) on a personal level, and knows what makes them tick. Leaders who love to hear themselves talk and pontificate on the most trivial issues, could have a tough time leading their team. Likewise, for obloquy leaders or leaders who don’t involve their team when making programmatic modifications. As they say, you attract more with honey than you do with vinegar.
Effectively communicating (and often) is key to team buy-in and support. Especially when the permit jargon is communicated in a manner your team understands. Defaulting to ‘because we have to’ does not give merit to the adult satisfaction of knowing ‘what’s in it for me’, or a good quality successful program. Programmatic gaps can take form and grow bigger, while silos get erected. In the end, we all want clean water and our names left out of the news media spotlight.
Evolving EHS can help with your NPDES program management. Whether its applying for a permit, analyzing data, identify and close programmatic gaps, or helping your team to the next level, we are ready to help piece together solutions to your environmental, health and safety puzzle.