Our Commitment to Pollution Prevention
Express Commercial Solutions has a commitment to saving businesses from uncapped environmental agency fines and reducing business disruption. We have ensured that steps are taken to prevent and control environmental contamination. We assist clients by being fully aware of their manufacturing processes and the potential and actual journeys a damaging waste product or stored material could take to reach people, plants, and animals. Pollution pathways are areas where pollution travels from a source to a receptor. Here are three things that we identify when assessing a business:
- The source of pollution. This could be stored on the premises, or it could be already polluting the environment. A common example would be oil and petrol waste on the ground of a petrol station forecourt.
- How will the contaminant travel? It could travel through air, land, water, air conditioning, drains, or even food chains. In the case of the above example, unless an interceptor has been installed, oil spillages from the business can move from the forecourt to the surrounding green spaces and then waterways.
- Who or what will suffer because of unwanted contamination? This applies to any animals or plants in the area that have been affected by contaminants spreading. It could be humans who have had unwanted contact with the substance.
The Case Study: An Emergency Response
One example of when we created a large-scale pollution prevention pathway, was our emergency response to a fire at a local food factory. Due to the nature of the products the factory manufactured, the fire was producing a toxic spillage of oil, liquid syrup, and molten sugar. The mix was producing a deadly hazard to the local environment and drainage networks. As a response, we planned exactly where the flow of contaminants was moving, and which area of the site was vulnerable to spread. We followed these steps to manage the situation:
We cleared the main exit point, from molten syrup and installed a drainage bladder.
To prevent further contamination from leaving the drainage ditch and entering the watercourse, we installed an Aqua Dam at the exit point. This was filled with 70,000 litres of water to self-seal the exit point and create a lagoon from which to extract the contaminated water.
The extraction of contaminated stormwater from the ditch was conducted by use of Jet Vac tankers, including 1.4k and 3.2k units while our crisis engineer monitored all levels. Within just 24 hours, an estimated 42,000 litres of contaminated stormwater were removed.
A road sweeper cleansed the entrance and removed contamination from the public highway.
Depending on the steps you take to protect your business, you could be accountable for any unplanned disasters that occur on your property, with other parties involved. In the example discussed above, there were two clients involved. Client 1’s site was a food factory that was poorly prepared and only had reactive pollution prevention plans in place, it is located next to Client 2. Client 2’s site is a global retail conglomerate and had proactive plans in place including spill kits, contingency plans, plus they were already making efforts to reduce pollutants. Client 1 was culpable for the fire and toxins reaching the environment and had to pay crippling fines and fees to take care of the situation.
|Disadvantages experienced by client 1|
|Client 1 was culpable for the clean-up cost on behalf of both properties as they were deemed responsible for the pollution spread.|
|Client 1 was culpable for its own downtime costs which amounted to £1.2 million per day for an extensive period.|
|They were responsible for arranging the removal of around 18,000 litres of hazardous waste.|
|Advantages experienced by client 2|
|The client had minimal clean-up costs as they were not culpable.|
|The client’s site was operational within 24 hours.|
|Client 2 was not responsible for removing the waste on site|
|The warehouse was repairable, and the company’s clients could get right back to work after the fire.|
How to protect your business
Whether you would like assistance with your pollution prevention strategy or whether you would like us on hand in case of an emergency. We have a wealth of experience in pollution pathway scenarios and are ready and waiting to assist you so get in touch with us today!