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Can a company with pending air license and water permit still get certified to 14001?

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Staff member
Admin
#1
I feel like this is a stupid question, but here goes. I'd like to see what our community of experts says.

A company buys out an existing company, moves into the site and sets up shop making electrical panels. The new company wants to certify to ISO 14001 but the regulatory agencies are slow to issue an air license, water permit, and storm water permit.

The company does know they need to remove metals from their waste water and treat for pH. They had a unit put in to do that and it's functioning. They have some paint operations, but mostly do powder coat. There are no air controls at all, and nothing for storm water pollution protection.

Their corporate office (this is one of several sites) has put them under a lot of pressure to get certified. They go through the stage 1, and the auditor held back stage 2 because of gaps in their manual and management review - but not about the permits because nothing specifically says the permits must be in place before advancing to stage 2.

Permits have been applied for, an air inventory has been taken and VOC calculation methods are in development. They think they might not need air emission controls once all this analysis is done.

Can a site get certified to ISO 14001 with all this pending?

To add to the stress, the stage 1 and 2 are being witnessed by ANAB.
 
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Randy

Super Moderator
#2
Re: Can a company with pending air license and water permit still get certified to 14

Yep, sho nuf can!:yes:

It's simple, they've identified regulatory requirements and have taken the steps to comply with them

Been there, done that a 100 times Jen
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration with a Mask on...
Staff member
Admin
#3
Re: Can a company with pending air license and water permit still get certified to 14

Much like this thread: ISO 13485 relationship to 21 CFR 820 - Outside of ensuring a company has identified regulatory requirements and is taking steps to comply with them, it's is outside of the scope of the audit.

I learned that years ago in ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 when auditors tried to get their noses into some specifics of different regulatory requirements (as opposed to verifying the company had identified them and were addressing them). This was also common in the old QS-9000 days.

One should always be on the lookout for auditors who go beyond the scope of the audit. Even when a company is not successfully complying with one or more regulatory and/or statutory requirements, as long as the requirement(s) are identified and there is a plan in place to address regulatory and statutory requirements it is outside the scope of the audit (whether it be ISO 9001, ISO 14001 or other audit to an ISO standard) to get into the specifics of the company's compliance to regulatory and statutory requirements.
 
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