The Compliance Cycle – Step 1

Begin the process with an assessment.

Two people discussing site compliance in a warehouse during an environmental compliance assessment

The environmental compliance assessment is Step 1 of the Compliance Cycle. It’s an environmental risk assessment that will illuminate your pathway to ensuring environmental site compliance. Our expert will visit your site to identify your existing and potential risks and report back to you on what we find.

What is environmental compliance?

Significant government and private sector resources are allocated to the protection of our environment. The introduction of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act (POEO), NSW in 1997 was a major step forward in the regulation of environmental site compliance. The Act identifies and details factors of noncompliance.  The POEO Act created a real need for site specific risk identification and mitigation processes, procedures and products so compliance could be achieved and penalties avoided.

Legislation such as the POEO is policed by the state based Environmental Protection Authorities (EPA). State EPA’s in Australia are setup as separate entities that possess enforcement powers in their state. The EPA also create and manage auditing programs, investigate for noncompliance, make determinations and imposes the penalties for noncompliance.

Why do I need an environmental compliance assessment?

Across every industrial, commercial or government site, environmental risks exist. Your observations and those of your staff are important and a great first step.

  • An Environmental Risk Assessment will help you to look more objectively at your site.
  • A professional assessment will minimise your risk of noncompliance and future pollution events.

How do you do an environmental compliance assessment?

We call our service the Environmental Risk Assessment. In general, the assessment looks like this:

  1. Meeting – You can tell us about your business so we can relate legislation and our experience with specific operational environmental risks. This may happen over the phone or in person as part of a site visit.
    This initial consultation will give rise to the potential or existing hazards on or off site. This will form the basis for evaluation and set up the tailored assessment checklist we will use.
  2. Reviewing – internal policies and procedures related to environmental compliance and pollution incident response management plan(s).
  3. Walking – the site(s) including surrounding areas. The risk from your operations may not impact directly upon you, but your neighbours, a nature reserve or waterway that happens to be close by may be affected.
    At this stage, we will be referring to our checklist and possibly take photos to put into our report.

What results or findings should I expect?

From the environmental compliance assessment (risk assessment), we will know the environmental impact of your operations, what you do and how you do it.  Potential impacts on surrounding areas that would be affected by a pollution event as a result of your operations will be addressed in the report.

The goal of the assessment is to direct us in Step 2 – Action Plan. From the assessment, we can create a risk assessment matrix to identify the seriousness and likelihood of specific risks and how to prevent or respond to them.  A part of this step involves applying your obligations under legislation and any other relevant guidelines that apply to your industry.

What do I do after the assessment?

Once you receive a report back from Akuna Services, the next step will be developing the Action Plan. Of course, your Assessor will be helping you every step of the way.