2019 is a big year for Tioga – we’re celebrating our 10th anniversary! Because of this momentous occasion, we’re launching a new series on our blog to take place over the next year, “Top 10 with Tioga.” Each month will feature a new topic about our services and people.
To kick off the series, we are talking about the importance of maintaining an environmental calendar. In our field, it’s extremely important to stay on top of dates and deadlines. An environmental calendar is a solution to stay organized. Here are our top 10 reasons to get a calendar started:
1. Lots (and lots) of deadlines.
So many deadlines, so little time! An environmental calendar gives you an overhead look at what’s coming up so you can plan ahead. Planning will help you stay ahead of the game and avoid stress as deadlines creep up and other work piles on.
2. Gathering the data you need takes time.
Reports take time and require a lot of effort. Many renewals require extensive data that is difficult to compile hastily. An environmental calendar will help set personal reminders to begin acquiring the necessary data so that you aren’t scrambling and rushing at the last minute.
3. “Holy cow, that’s due tomorrow!”
It’s easy to be blindsided by fast-approaching deadlines! An environmental calendar allows you to plan ahead. No more surprise deadlines and due dates!
4. There are too many things due on March 1.
As the saying goes, when it rains, it pours. Deadlines for environmental permits are no exception. Many permit renewals are due March 1, such as Tier II reports and Hazardous Waste annual reports. Planning ahead will help you avoid that overwhelming feeling of everything piling at one time.
5. February is a short month, and March 1 comes sooner than you think.
When you return to a regular routine after the holiday season, even the best planners think, “I have two months until my reports are due. That’s plenty of time!” Reality check - it’s not. We often forget that February is a short month and that those two days can make all the difference. Instead of waiting until the new year, start gathering information and taking required inventory before you adjourn for the holiday season. When March 1 rolls along, you’ll be all set!
6. Getting checks cut in 12 hours is not always an option.
Yes, you may have been proactive in conducting inventory and gathering data, but don’t forget that permit renewals and annual reports may also require payment. Don’t miss your deadline just because you gave little to no notice to your bank or accounting department.
7. You need to know when to call your consultant.
Some permit renewals and reports require the assistance and overview of an outside consultant. Tioga assists several clients with renewing environmental permits and preparing regular reports. Working with a consultant takes time and coordination. Putting off contacting your environmental consultant could result in missed deadlines.
8. Schedule training when you’re not working on annual reports.
If it’s your job to prepare environmental reports and make sure everyone in your facility receives annual environmental health and safety training, outlining when reports are due can provide a timeline for the best most convenient times to conduct your staff EHS training. Remember, if applicable, staff require annual stormwater, hazardous waste and/or SPCC training in addition to applicable safety topics.
9. Balance your workload so you can start your EPCRA Toxic Release Inventory (Form R/Form A) in April.
For some, the TRI Report is the biggest report of the year as it requires data from not only production but also from your disposal companies, stormwater and wastewater annual monitoring, air emission calculations and more. Put out your requests for information from your vendors and internal administration staff as early as you can, and you can start working up your summary spreadsheet as early as April.
10. Map out when you can take a vacation to rejuvenate yourself.
Work can often cause unwanted and unneeded stress, so it’s important to take time off to rest and relax. Reward your hard work with some well-deserved R&R. Keeping your eye on the prize amid the craziness of reporting season will help you stay motivated.