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ERA's Environmental Compliance Management Blog

How to Use Environmental Data Management to Fight the War on Drugs

Posted by Alex Chamberlain

Alex Chamberlain is a writer for ERA Environmental Management Solutions.

Environmental data management can keep this guy away.We love sharing examples of how top-notch environmental data management has saved companies thousands of dollars, shrunk noncompliance fines, and increased staff efficiency. But here’s one from ERA’s case files that can only be classified as... Freaky.

Knowing exactly what products & materials are in your chemical inventory is vital to staying in compliance and managing your air emissions.

It’s also directly linked to your facility’s profitability. Every material you use needs to be purchased and used cost-effectively.

But in this case study, having a chemical inventory software system in place did even more than preserve company profitability - it played its part in fighting the war on drugs.

You could say it also acted as an unusual sort of corporate social responsibility software.

Like most, this facility used a variety of chemicals while manufacturing - so it had a wide assortment of them on site. Naturally, the facility’s environmental specialists kept a close eye on their chemical inventory and were responsible for approving products, projecting potential emissions, and reporting on-site hazards.

But as time went on, the EH&S team noticed something was wrong.

When they ran a chemical inventory report for their entire facility, they noticed an unusually high quantity of acetone was purchased during the year. This data didn't correspond to the actual production capacity of the facility.

Somehow, the supply of acetone needed frequent replenishing, but there was nothing to show for it.

It turns out that an employee had been stealing acetone from the facility throughout the year, and using it to produce methamphetamine.

That’s why the facility was purchasing so much acetone, but never seeing any return on it.

Good environmental data management played it's part in the facility's fight on drugs. But more importantly, it also helped the company put an end to being victimized & losing money at the hands of a drug scheme.

Acetone is not TRI-reportable and isn’t classified as a hazardous air pollutant (HAP), so the theft wouldn’t have been caught by the standard mandatory EPA reports.

It was because the environmental specialist team went above and beyond their basic duties that the shocking situation had a happy ending.

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Image credit: Incase

Topics: SDS, Environmental Compliance & Data Management