Many emissions regulations are created with the greater good in mind. Be careful not to get stuck under a pile of documents in order to stay compliant.  -  Photo via Unsplash/ Alexander Popov

Many emissions regulations are created with the greater good in mind. Be careful not to get stuck under a pile of documents in order to stay compliant.

Photo via Unsplash/Alexander Popov

Former No. 1 Fleet San Bernardino County, Calif., has a regulatory environmental specialist on staff to ensure the fleet is fully compliant with local, state, and federal regulations. Here are the three things she thinks government fleets should know in order to stay compliant.

1. Stay Up To Date on the Rules & Regulations that Pertain to Your Fleet

Be aware of ALL operations that run on a day-to-day basis in your fleet and see what rules and regulations apply to those operations. Is there an emissions cap on equipment? Can only certain pieces of equipment operate within your jurisdiction? Is there any available aid in your jurisdiction to upgrade to the newest, cleanest technology? What steps might you need to research for future regulation updates?

When keeping these questions in mind, it is easier to be proactive and be ahead of the regulation changes instead of being reactive when you might receive a violation or fine for not being up to date.

Another helpful tip is to be involved with rule and regulation changes by attending rule hearing meetings and developing relationships with rule planners. This helps your fleet’s voice be heard and brings some perspective as to what is attainable for most fleets.

2. Be Aware of Which Environmental Agencies Have Jurisdiction Over Your Fleet Operation

Whether it be federal, state, or local environmental agencies, it is critical to know which agencies apply to your fleet and how. It can be difficult to sort through which rules apply to public fleets and which pertain to private fleets. By simply reaching out to your air district, hazardous material compliance, or water board, fleets are able to communicate and figure out what rules and regulations apply to your organization.

The environmental agency’s goal is to keep your fleet in compliance, so work with the agency before you become non-compliant. This will allow your fleet to develop a relationship with the various environmental agencies that demonstrates how your fleet goes above and beyond for environmental compliance.

3. Familiarize Your Fleet With What Each Environmental Agency Does

One of the most frustrating things for environmental agencies is when a government agency has no understanding of the difference between the various environmental regulatory agencies.

Each environmental agency requires different inspections and different paperwork. If you show each environmental agency every document pertaining to your environmental compliance efforts, you will bog them down with unnecessary and unwanted work. By helping each agency retrieve the essential information for their inspection, it shows that your organization takes them seriously and they will be more willing to work with you and get you into compliance.

Even simply separating your environmental documents can set your fleet apart from the rest. This shows environmental agencies that your organization respects them and takes their mission seriously.

About the Author: Lauren Finwall is the regulatory environmental specialist for San Bernardino Fleet Management in California.