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Cleaning up your act to prevent groundwater contamination

On Behalf of | Nov 16, 2017 | Firm News |

Running a business in New Jersey has its challenges, so if yours is successful, you may have beaten the odds. While you are willing to work within rigid laws and high taxes, you may not be thrilled about more policies that pressure you to make adjustments for environmental protection.

Nevertheless, you understand the importance of clean drinking water. After all, your children and grandchildren drink, bathe in and swim in water, and you would not like to think that your business contributes to the contamination that results in illness or other consequences. On a practical level, if chemicals or other pollutants from your business end up in the groundwater, you may face legal issues, especially if residents near your business blame you for contamination that makes them sick.

Is your business a high-risk enterprise?

Certainly, you and your employees don’t intentionally pollute the water. In fact, there may not even be running water near your place of business. However, underground water systems are delicate and easily impacted by soil and surface water pollutants. For example, depending on the kind of business you run, improperly disposing of chemicals or any spillage of hazardous materials could easily seep into the soil or wash away with the rain into nearby water sources. A higher probability of this exists if your business is one of these:

  • Dry cleaner
  • Laundromat
  • Auto repair garage
  • Car wash
  • Construction site

Manufacturers may also dispose of waste products that end up in the water systems. Additionally, if your business stores hazardous materials in above ground or underground tanks, you may think you are protecting the environment. However, storage tanks break down and leak over time, sending their toxic contents into the underground waterways.

How can I protect local water and my business?

Your business can set a higher standard for protecting the local waters from contamination. With some simple procedures, you and your employees can establish a system that helps you avoid allowing pollutants to find their way from your business to the underground waters. Some suggestions include:

  • Reducing or eliminating processes that create runoff
  • Finding substitutes for hazardous materials
  • Inspecting hazardous storage units
  • Minimizing toxic inventory you keep on hand
  • Testing soil and water frequently

These may seem like small changes when compared to the disaster they may prevent. Another step you may take is consulting with an environmental attorney for advice on remaining compliant with laws affecting New Jersey businesses. Sound guidance can prove advantageous to you, the continued success of your business and your community.