Enviro – Environmental permit examples and best practices
Environmental permit examples and best practices
About environmental permitting
Industrial sites are naturally destructive places. In fact, the beginning of any industrial project usually involves destroying something for something else to get built on top of, underneath or in place of that area or thing.
In order to manage the destructive and constructive nature of industrial sites (both of which are necessary) and mitigate the unnecessary impact that these activities have on the surrounding environment - we use environmental rules and regulations set forth by governments, councils and local ordinances - as well as a series of environmental permits which companies and workers must complete in order to get their work done correctly - and legally.
Environmental permitting is about creating, documenting and approving work to go ahead once the surrounding environment has been accounted for and all measures have been taken to ensure the minimum disturbances.
Some environmental permits must be filled out by law, while others are considered environmental best practice. The goal of an environmental permit is to ensure that projects and work is legal; that the surrounding environment - including flora, fauna, air and water quality and the place which people and other things live - protected and managed to the best of our ability.
Types of environmental permits
The world of environmental permits is constantly evolving. New rules and regulations, new construction and industrial techniques and more care and knowledge about the environment have given rise to new permits.
The list below is far from exhaustive, but as an example, some commonly used environmental permits include:
- Environmental clearing permit
- Environmental dewatering permit
- Stormwater discharge permit
- Groundwater discharge permit
- Chart reporting status permit
Each environmental permit obviously has a different purpose and function, but they all share the same goal of ensuring that the right steps have been taken to ensure that the environment is consciously protected as much as possible in the face of project progress.
We'll dive deeper into a couple of specific environmental permits below, and give you some tips about managing environmental permits with an environmental permit register.
Environmental clearing permit example
An environmental clearing permit must be filled out and approved prior to the commencement of any clearing on site, including trees, shrubs, vegetation, animals and other elements of the surrounding environment.
Clearing native vegetation and other environmental elements is an illegal offence, and the laws and regulations are typically regulated by a nations governmental department.
It's critically important for all clients, contractors, subcontractors and workers to understand the importance and consequence of 'moving' things around or clearing areas. These areas sometimes feature unique and sensitive flora and fauna which must be accounted for and dealt with properly.
The environmental clearing permit you see below features the form fields you need to correctly complete an environmental clearing permit and conducts those critical clearings properly and legally.
Use this environmental clearing permit template for free.
Environmental dewatering permit example
Dewatering permits are used to ensure that dewatering activities adhere to legislative guidelines. Dewatering itself, is the process of removing any water which accumulates in earthwork excavations or below the existing water table as a result of intersection aquifers, seepage of soil water/groundwater or storm events.
The importance of dewatering permits centers on ensuring that contaminated and polluted waters - contaminated and polluted due to supplies or site workers - are not dicharged into watercourses or marine waters.
While water often seems softer than other materials and more easily disposable, it is critical to the surrounding environment and the health of workers and local communities that water is disposed of correctly - just like any other contaminant or pollutant.
We have seen the impact that contaminated water has caused in communities, who have had their drinking and potable water contaminated, and the purpose of the dewatering permit is to prevent and mitigate the chance of this ever happening.
Use this environmental dewatering permit template for free.
Managing your environmental permits with an environmental permit register
Creating and completing your environmental permits is just one part of the puzzle. The other piece is to have permits approved, and keep them organised for management and compliance audits. The easiest and most useful way to keep environmental permits organised is with a permit register.
Registers are the backbone of the industries. Forms and documents are created every day on site, and they are typically organised and summarised in a register.
An environmental permit registers serves as your single point of environmental permitting truth. It is the reference point for your live and archived permits. You can view and track all of your permits in the register. It also makes editing, adjusting and finding permits easy as well.
Because permits aren't stagnant documents, and typically move from a person to another person in order to be approved, there is an element of collaboration to every permit; collaboration which can be hard to manage through word and excel documents and traditional email.
Using a smart template like the ones you see below enable you to automate this approval process. Once you signoff on the digital form, the form is automatically pushed to the next column for approval by another person - who will get a notification about needing to assess and signoff on the permit.
If you are interested in seeing how you can automate environmental permitting as well as other elements of your environmental performance - take a look at Dashpivot environmental permits app.
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