Ensuring Environmental Compliance Through Planning

Environmental compliance is an important issue. It applies to construction worksites, building companies and contractors who must adhere to all current legislation.  The penalties for breaches of environmental law can be severe and land you in court (with even accidental breaches possibly resulting in prosecution).

Ignorance is no defence and everyone in your business is responsible for minimising risk and being aware of the issues relating to your business and the site.  Compliance is achieved through a comprehensive approach which involves:

  • Planning – drawing up an Environmental Management Plan (EMP) using appropriate guidelines.
  • Training – ensuring that everyone involved understands the EMP and how they can contribute to its effectiveness.
  • Self-Assessment – an ongoing process of re-evaluation of the EMP document throughout the course of the development project and making amendments as appropriate.

An effective EMP will generate additional benefits for the project beyond legislative compliance.  The EMP itself is typically an A1 sized site plan which identifies issues diagrammatically and includes a narrative covering additional issues, such as noise, which cannot be visually depicted.

The NSW department of Environment, Climate Change, and Water has set out the recommended steps necessary to prepare a site specific EMP to mitigate environmental impact during a construction project.

The guidelines are detailed and comprehensive, and cover all aspects of the project and how they relate to the environment.  They also detail the documentation needed and the form this should take.  These guidelines help you navigate the process in a logical order, encouraging you to assess all potential issues and including develop an emergency response plan.

Though everyone is responsible for implementing and complying with the contents of the EMP, there should also be nominated individuals responsible for ensuring implementation of the plan. These individuals’ details should be documented within the plan, with emergency contacts.

The Blueprint CPD module “Environmental Management Planning” will give you an understanding of environmental compliance requirements and the guidelines set down by the NSW authorities for completing an Environmental Management Plan for building construction sites. It explains how the information contained is to be identified and documented on a site specific plan.

This Blueprint module not only guides you through the necessary compliance, but also counts towards your tradesperson's licence.

To find out more, contact Blueprint CPD now.