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How to Join the Vermont Business Environmental Partnership

Environmental Partner (first level for General Businesses):

An organization interested in becoming a Business Environmental Partner should review and become familiar with the Program standards

The next step is to contact us to schedule an on-site visit.  The on-site visit is conducted by a VBEP representative. During the on-site visit, a tour of the facility is conducted.  Existing environmental practices and opportunities for improvements to satisfy the standards are identified for consideration by the business.

Next, the VBEP representative sends the business a report documenting the visit that outlines:

  • Actions that need to be taken before being admitted to the Partnership,
  • Additional specific information needed from the business,
  • Suggestions for further improvements,
  • Compliance issues that may need to be addressed, and
  • Resources that may be helpful to the business in order to make improvements.

The potential partner then completes the Partner Standards Achievement Form and submits it for review. This form is currently under revision. To receive the proper form, if you have not done so already, contact a program representative preferably the one that did your on-site visit.

In the application the business commits to:

  • Implementation of any improvements or new initiatives,
  • Completing an annual Partner Performance Survey, and
  • A good faith effort to comply with applicable state and federal regulations.

The business receives designation as an Environmental Partner once the application is approved. For those interested in the general Environmental Leader level or a sector specific leadership level, further requirements must be met.

Environmental Partner (top level for General Businesses):

To become an ENVIRONMENTAL LEADER, the business must complete the following.

  1. For General Business designation, achieve the standards for ENVIRONMENTAL PARTNER designation. Each facility designated and recognized as an ENVIRONMENTAL LEADER must first achieve ENVIRONMENTAL PARTNER status.  For sector specific programs, all standards must be met before designation.

  2. Develop and implement an Environmental Management Plan that (a) builds on the findings of an environmental assessment; (b) considers the technical and economic feasibility of various strategies; (c) defines waste reduction goals and measures of success; (d) describes an action plan for implementing selected strategies; and (e) creates a system for assessing progress and maintaining compliance with environmental, safety and health regulations.

  3. Schedule an environmental compliance review.  A non-regulatory compliance assistance specialist will conduct an on-site visit to determine regulatory standing and, where there may be non-compliance, to suggest pollution prevention and other strategies that can be used to achieve full compliance. The business must be in good regulatory standing with the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and in compliance with all applicable DEC regulations. Depending on the size and scope of operations at your facility, the following regulations are just a few that may apply to you: 

    Air Quality regulations
    Hazardous Waste Management regulations
    Indirect Discharge Permit regulations
    Pretreatment Discharge Program
    Storm water Discharge Permit
    Underground Storage Tanks (UST) standards
    Solid Waste Management Regulations

  4. Because any assessment or review of environmental compliance provides at best only a snapshot in time, there needs to be a system for maintaining good regulatory standing over time.

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