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Environmental Regulations Impact Small Businesses

Environmental Regulations Impact Small Businesses

Swiping a credit card, Business Transaction

Illinois small business owners are required to comply with certain environmental regulations and failure to do so can lead to fines and legal action. Unfortunately, not all small business owners are aware of or understand the regulations that they are responsible for complying with.

Small Businesses and Environmental Regulations

It’s not only businesses that provide automotive, agricultural chemical services that should be aware of federal and state environmental regulations. Small businesses such as printers or even laundromats and dry cleaners may be subject to specific environmental laws. Environmental regulations may also impact businesses who utilize property in an area that houses a protected species or habitat.

The Environmental Protection Agency, along with Illinois state agencies enforce environmental regulations for small businesses. Some businesses fear the cost of ensuring that their companies are keeping the environment safe and so do not take the necessary steps to ensure compliance. Small businesses that are not compliant with government regulations can find themselves on the hook for fines and hefty legal costs.

Illinois business owners should be aware of the laws that may impact them, including:

  • The Clean Air Act
  • The Illinois Environmental Protection Act
  • The Clean Water Act
  • The Safe Drinking Water Act
  • Illinois Pollution Control Board Rules
  • The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
  • The Pollution Prevention Act
  • The Toxic Substance Control Act
  • Emissions Standards

The Illinois EPA does have the legal authority to enter a business facility to check for any violations to state or federal environmental regulations. Inspectors may tour, take samples, take photographs and review records as part of the investigation process. If violations are found, written notification is provided to business owners, along with the steps that must be followed in order to correct the situation.

Ensuring Compliance with Environmental Regulations

Because they can have such a tremendous impact on small businesses, it’s important for owners to understand what regulations they are required to follow. Consulting business transaction lawyer is one way that Illinois business owners can ensure that they are following all laws that are applicable to their industry. The EPA also publishes resources, such as compliance guides, that are designed to help small business owners to discover any violations and provides incentives like longer correction periods and lower fines for those who voluntarily report these violations and make efforts to improve conditions.

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