After 20 years of being a leader, pioneer and principal in the environmental industry, and working with clients from every aspect of our society, I can honestly share one thing about environmental matters for certain; Times Have Changed!!! When I began my career, laptops, which were mostly for large companies, were just entering the consumer market, the internet craze was just ready to kick off, and wall street and the housing market were hot. After 20 years in the environmental industry, it’s now the environmental industry that is HOT!
Why you ask? Because Times Have Changed!!
Environmental regulations are cumbersome and highly litigious, because the media loves to play on the fears of people “Danger, Environmental Hazard” – headline coupled with – “Hot off the press.” Additionally, the availability of the internet allows people to falsely believe they can become subject matter experts within minutes of a Google search.
Times have changed, because we truly have done more damage to mother earth and we must protect the remainder of our existence for our benefit and our children after us. Times have changed because the current economic condition of society is so depressed; a substantially larger than normal burden of a sense of entitlement exists in society today. Times have changed because science and medicine have gotten substantially better and more precise in identification of environmental concerns which has been linked to many diseases. Times have changed because of the size and dis-functionality of many of our governmental systems/programs, where many environmental insurance and financial programs exclude environmental concerns unless specifically requested and paid for, all too often leaving behind a liability for society to bear. The single biggest reason in my 20yr. opinion is the unfortunate reality, of costly, timely and mostly unnecessary litigation, not too mention, frivolous, all too frequently, as well.
So after 20 years of running an environmental company – LEW Corp., working with our governmental partners, assisting clients all across the country, participating on numerous panels, associations, boards…
These are NOT the times to play ostrich and put your head in the sand!! The risk has become too great and I will assure you it will be a costly and bad bet should you be dragged into an enforcement action or worse yet, litigation. I have 20 years of war stories and documented proof! As litigation will rise, likely enforcement will also rise, which in turn will create more media hype. Which unfortunately stimulate the self fulfilling prophecy, “Perception becomes reality.”
So if I can offer my best strategic positioning moving forward to minimize risk, it is to align yourself and business with a property oriented environmental entity, that has the experience, expertise, resources, relationships, insurances, and most importantly a reputation that you can trust!!! Trust to a point that you consider them a partner of yours!! The environmental rules are incredibly cumbersome, layers on top of layers, the government potentially in a bad economic climate will increase enforcement actions and unfortunately until we have litigation reform, litigation will likely rise. Whether it’s your clients, residents, occupants or even employees, I strongly believe the probability of environ-litigation or violation will increase in the future.