regulations Tag

Strategies for Success with Environmental Regulatory Relations: Part 3

We’ve been discussing strategies for better relations with environmental regulators. We talked about building positive relationships in Part 1 and communicating our interests in Part 2. In this article, we focus on the process and not the people to achieve a desired outcome.   STRATEGY NO. 3 Focus on the process, not the people. Management Consultant, Edwards Deming said, “A bad system will beat a good person every time.” Any number of competent people can make the same mistakes when using a faulty or cumbersome process. Likewise, if we dismiss the regulatory process and focus solely on the regulatory personnel, we may overlook the root cause of difficulties when navigating a complex bureaucratic system. Consider the regulator’s perspective. Industry advocates or public watchdog groups often challenge their decisions. The regulator is held responsible when environmental problems occur (i.e. Why did you issue that permit? Why didn’t you shut them down?). They anticipate the worst possible...

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Strategies for Success with Environmental Regulatory Relations: Part 2

We’ve been discussing strategies to help your business have better relations with environmental regulators. Almost every business interest has some environmental impact, which means you probably are regulated by your local or state environmental agency, or maybe the US EPA directly. We talked about building positive relationships in Part 1. Now we want to think about the best way to communicate with regulators to achieve a desired outcome.   STRATEGY NO. 2 Communicate your interests, instead of stating your position. Most people will argue a point based on what they want (their position) instead of why they want it (their interests). The classic example to illustrate this concept is the story of two sous chefs arguing over a single orange in the kitchen. Each is adamant that they need a whole orange for their individual recipes. When the Executive Chef asks why each needs a whole orange, the first chef says their recipe calls for...

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Strategies for Success with Environmental Regulatory Relations: Part 1

Does your business affect the environment? Perhaps you need a permit. Maybe an inspector visited your site and discovered violations. No doubt you have found yourself in the company of federal, state, or local regulators. Sometimes those interactions go well, sometimes… not so much. Environmental regulatory issues can be dreadful affairs, but they don’t have to be. In this three-part series, we will explore useful strategies to help achieve a favorable outcome.   STRATEGY NO. 1 Build positive relationships with regulators and your surrounding community. Bob Burg’s now famous relationship-building principle known as the “know, like, trust” factor is a sales concept that can apply to regulatory relations too. The basic principle is that people do business with people they know, like, and trust. Of course, we are not selling to regulators, but it is a transactional relationship, such as receiving a permit or negotiating a penalty. How well we are known, our likeability...

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Survey Benchmark Regs May Change for Landfills

New regulations concerning surveying benchmarks for landfills in Virginia is under consideration by the Department of Environmental Quality. With the widespread and accepted use of GPS there have been changes in the usage of benchmarks and it may be necessary to update regulations in order to be consistent with current practice. Currently Virginia Solid Waste Management Regulations (VSWMR 9VAC20-81) require that landfills establish and maintain two survey benchmarks on a landfill site. Under these regulations the term “benchmark” is defined as “a permanent monument constructed of concrete and set in the ground surface below the frost line with identifying information clearly affixed to it.” It is appropriate for landfill sites to be required to establish permanent control given the number of elements that must be surveyed and compared to approved permit documents and other surveys. However, the requirement for permanent monuments as opposed to permanent elevation references exceeds the standard of care...

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Staunton Prepared to Deal with Changes in Stormwater Programs

The City of Staunton is well positioned to meet the new stormwater regulations and permit requirements head on – the City already has an established stormwater utility fee.  As with all localities across the Commonwealth, the challenging part is educating elected officials and the public about why managing stormwater can seem to cost so much.   The City is again responding by being proactive and starting that conversation early with the City Council.   Read more about their recent efforts here: http://www.newsleader.com/article/20130820/NEWS01/308200021/Costly-stormwater-monitoring-coming-Staunton?nclick_check=1...

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Stormwater in Roanoke Virginia – It’s Big News

Is stormwater really making headlines on the front page of the Sunday newspaper?  YES, it is!  And it will continue to be a hot topic for debate over the next several years.   As a stormwater engineer, it’s really exciting to see this important topic being publicized to the entire community.   Localities are searching for options and solutions to fund the necessary stormwater programs to meet the regulatory requirements and implement solutions which will prevent future flooding and pollution of our waterways. Read about the history of stormwater and City of Roanoke and Roanoke County’s plans for their programs and funding. http://www.roanoke.com/news/1937778-12/roanoke-to-consider-storm-water-fee.html http://www.roanoke.com/news/1917898-12/storm-water-a-problem-as-unstoppable-as-rain.html (Oh, by the way, the civil engineer's role is still very important in designing solutions to improve stormwater.  As a civil engineer, we are working more closely with architects and planners to plan and develop healthier, greener communities.)...

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Stormwater Utility Fee Now a Reality in Lynchburg

Citizens and business owners in the City of Lynchburg are having their first taste of the costs of cleaner stormwater. By paying a stormwater utility fee, property owners are seeing first hand the impact of regulatory changes intended to improve local water quality throughout the region and the Chesapeake Bay. While the new fee may be burdensome to some residents and businesses, this revenue source is one of the few options localities have to fund a sustainable program needed to comply with tightening regulations and truly have a meaningful impact on improving the quality of stormwater runoff reaching our streams, rivers, lakes, and the Bay. Like many localities across Virginia, and the country, Lynchburg is following a trend to implement stormwater utility fees as a means to generate the needed funds. Stormwater utility fees are seen as one of the fairest means to allocate this responsibility among government and property...

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EPA to Virginia – “Refine Your Detailed Bay TMDL Plan…Or Else”

[caption id="attachment_696" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Shores of the James River"][/caption] It looks like the EPA will not be relinquishing their oversight of Virginia’s management of the Chesapeake Bay TMDL anytime soon. As noted in this Newsleader.com (Staunton, Virginia) article, the EPA returned Virginia’s plan for the clean-up of the Bay with harsh criticism, a deadline of March 30th for resubmittal, and threats of federal action if  "EPA requests are ignored or deadlines missed." We’ll keep you posted on how the Commonwealth is dealing with the latest requirements of the EPA. Are we on the right path to success? http://www.newsleader.com/article/20120224/NEWS01/202240311...

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More Stormwater News for Roanoke

The wave of concern and anticipation is growing regarding the impacts of the impending stormwater regulations and will continue to grow for those municipalities with an MS4 (Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System) permit – currently the only mechanism for mandating stormwater and TMDL requirements. The City of Roanoke is one of the MS4 communities that are facing this wave of change and its associated costs. How is Roanoke City Council getting up to speed on the regulations coming out of Richmond and the EPA? Read more from The Roanoke Star Sentinel/ NewsRoanoke.com http://newsroanoke.com/?p=11979...

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