An Environmental Management Plan (EMP) is a practical document that is used by businesses to ensure that the operation of their business does not contaminate or pollute the land or water.
EMPs are usually prepared specifically for a site, to address specific activities and processes related to the business, including the handling and storage of hazardous substances, which may result in contaminants entering the natural environment.
EMPs can also help businesses to minimise the generation of waste and improve both efficiency and staff health and safety, which in turn can help to reduce operational costs.
When is an EMP Required?
Certain businesses are required by their council to have a current EMP for their property. For instance, under the Auckland Unitary Plan (Operative in Part) (AUP (OP)), Auckland Council requires many businesses undertaking industrial and trade activities (ITAs) to have an EMP, and in some instances will also require an ITA consent.
To find out if your business requires an EMP or ITA consent, or request a quote for an EMP, contact us today.
Many business owners do not know they need an EMP until they receive an abatement notice from council. The abatement notice can be issued if a business if found (or suspected) to be discharging contaminants into the natural environment without prior authorisation from council (e.g. an approved consent). This can include stormwater and washwaters being contaminated from business activities and subsequently entering public waterways or stormwater systems.
Contaminant discharges can be from various products, activities and processes, such as the following:
- Spills and leaks from powder or liquid products that are stored or used.
- Leaks or spills from vehicles during servicing.
- Stored mechanical parts.
- Wastewater or washwaters used to clean an area of a business or used during a part of the site processes.
The abatement notice will typically outline what is required to remove the notice and may require the business to stop operating until these requirements have been met.
Council may also fine business if they don’t fulfil the requirements outlined in the notice within the given timeframe.
If you have been issued with an abatement notice for discharging contaminants and would like to know more, or to request a quotation, contact us today.
What does an EMP include?
An EMP is a practical ‘living document’ that is designed to be implemented in your business’ day-to-day activities. Thomas Consultants prepare EMPs in close consultation with the business owner and/or manager to ensure that the contents are understandable, realistic and will be implemented by employees as well as meeting council’s requirements.
In general, EMPs will include the following:
- Details about your business.
- An assessment of the business operations against regulatory requirements.
- Identification of hazardous substances and potentially contaminated processes.
- Outline how the business will mitigate potential pollution of the receiving environment.
- An emergency spill response plan.
- Site maintenance and monitoring plans.
- Stormwater monitoring program.
If you are unsure, or if you would like further information, please contact our expert team today
What can you expect from Thomas Consultants?
With experienced consultants in land and water contamination, as well as expert planners, we will work closely with you throughout the process, and are able to assist with any council or resource consent requirements.
In developing the EMP, we will conduct detailed site visits and discussions with you and other relevant personnel, to create an EMP tailored to your needs.We are also available to answer any questions you may have about the process.
Many EMPs also need to include a stormwater monitoring program to demonstrate that the procedures and/or structural changes implemented as part of the EMP are effective in preventing the pollution of the natural environment. This is often required by council as part of the resource consent. Stormwater monitoring is an effective way to do this and involves the seasonal collection and laboratory analysis of water samples from stormwater infrastructure.
To streamline the process, Thomas Consultants can develop a stormwater monitoring programme, and conduct the quarterly sampling. The results from the sampling are summarised and interpreted in easy-to-read reports and include recommendations if any contamination or issues are identified.
Did you know that in addition to stormwater sampling, Thomas Consultants also conducts groundwater, freshwater and drinking water quality assessments as well as water quality monitoring.
To find out more about our water assessment and monitoring services, or request a quotation, contact us today.