As the owner/operator or responsible party, you must be aware that you are ultimately responsible for the investigation and cleanup of your release. Therefore extreme care should be used when selecting an environmental consultant, because the responsibility remains with the owner/operator or responsible party even though a consulting firm did the actual work. It’s always best to know that a consultant that you are hiring has direct experience  in the area where your business needs consulting help. And keep in mind that the least expensive consultant may not always offer the best value or be right for your business.

Consider Compatibility

  • Has the consultant worked with your type of business before?
  • Do they provide Environmental Consulting and Environmental Engineering services?
  • Does the consultant have experience in your state and county? Some regulations and deadlines vary from state to state and county to county.
  • Does the consultant have experience with your types of pollutants or your specific area of concern?
  • Can the consultant communicate with you in a clear manner?

Consider Credibility

  • What kind of reputation does the consultant have?
  • Does the consultant have solid references? Make sure to check them.
  • Does the consultant have experience with  your state’s regulatory agencies?
  • How many years has the consultant been in business?
  • Does the consultant belong to any professional associations?
  • What type of training, certifications, licenses, and/or registration does the consultant have? What is the consultant’s background?

Consider Cost-Effectiveness

  • Are the consultant’s fees in your price range?
  • Do you understand what you’re paying for?
  • Can you get assistance from some other source?
  • Has the consultant provided a detailed scope of services? Is the scope of work complete?
  • If regulatory organization needs more information after the permit application has been prepared, will it cost more money for the consultant to provide it?

These are good questions to ask an environmental consultant before hiring them. In future posts, our Hiring an Environmental Consultant Series will provide questions to ask your short list of consultants, as well as tips on constructing a contract with a consultant.  We will also let you know Environmental Risk Management’s answers to all of these questions.

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About Environmental Risk Management

1-Source Turnkey Environmental & Safety Services

Since 1989, Environmental Risk Management has been providing responsive, client focused 1-source turnkey solutions for a wide variety of environmental safety challenges. With our experience and extensive network of diverse internal and external resources, our clients trust us to provide quality Environmental & Safety Services for their businesses. Our environmental compliance specialists recognize the need to consult with private industry and the business community and our goal is to ensurer our client’s are complying with complex environmental regulations and minimizing their environmental liabilities.
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