What Do You Do When Your Environmental Consultant Quits?
If you’re like me, you’re not too fond of change. At the very least, not fond of big changes. I like being comfortable – who doesn’t? One area where facility owners, managers, and project designers all like to be comfortable is with their environmental consultant. So when you find a good environmental consultant and you enjoy working with them, you like to think you’re going to work with them forever (or at least while you need them). Just so you’ll know, your environmental consultant wants to feel comfortable too – notice I didn’t say complacent.
Anyway, at some point, we all experience change in our personal and professional lives. People change jobs, whether it’s a new job with another company in the same field, or maybe a completely different career path. People retire, and sadly, we all know what ultimately happens to us. I’ve been doing this long enough to where friends I’ve made in the business have passed away. I guess that’s both good and bad. I’m glad for their friendship, but I’m saddened by the loss. But anyway, what do you do when your environmental consultant quits?
In this case, I’m asking what you do when your environmental consultant quits – they’re no longer a viable business. What do you do? How do you make sure your projects get done, AND you stay in compliance? How do you now handle time sensitive items that are out of your control?
Here are some ideas:
1. If you haven’t already, develop a calendar of events, task list, whatever you want to call it, of compliance items for which you are responsible. Good examples include six month periodic surveillances, asbestos reinspections and asbestos management plan updates, employee training, and so on.
2. Of that list, what items, if any, can you complete yourself or in-house? Or are you best served in having someone else do it? In the long run, continuing to do these things yourself may not be the best expenditure of your time, but sometimes that may be the best short term solution until you can find a new environmental consultant.
3. What projects do you have coming up that require help from an environmental consultant? Identify those and start your search for the new environmental consultant.
4. Find your new environmental consultant. Call your colleagues to ask about firms. Set your qualifications criteria and find firms to interview. Here are a few suggested qualifications:
Firm with 20+ years’ experience in environmental consulting for your specific field (schools, petrochemical, commercial – whatever).
Firm with registered professional engineers on staff, preferably with at least one professional environmental engineer on staff.
Firm that has been in business for 20+ years that can demonstrate stability, and at least as far as you can determine, will serve your long term environmental compliance needs through demonstrated successful project performance.
Firm with 20+ years’ experience in training individuals to work in your specific field.
Just remember, this will take time. Time you may not really have. So if you need help:
Did I leave anything out? Or if you’ve gone through this, what did you do? What worked well, or what would you do differently? Please send me your comments, and I’ll include your responses in a future post. And if I can help with anything, give me a call (225-761-9141 extension 22) or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay in compliance, my friends.