California Manufacturers & Technology Association - 2018 Guide - 20
2018 MANUFACTURING ISSUES
DESERVE FAIR REGULATIONS
by Shaina Brown
nvironmental laws apply to nearly every aspect of
the manufacturing process and California sets the
bar high. The smartest laws and regulations solve
real environmental problems while creating reasons to
improve efficiency and innovate. The worst laws just add
huge costs and risks for companies without addressing
serious environmental problems.
How do bad regulations get created in the first
place? All it takes is one accident or negligent behavior
to inspire a new bill or regulation that attempts to fix the
problem. A bad regulation will overreach to apply to the
bad actor in addition to every other similar company even
if there are no other threats to public health. Another
way to create a bad regulation is to ignore and refuse to
modernize a good regulation passed many years ago!
It's not reasonable to assume that all companies
will perform in the same detrimental manner and that
heavy-handed regulations should control their operations.
Isolated incidents don't justify new regulations when
another solution could protect the environment. Also, for
both new and old regulations, it is crucial to adjust for
technology advancements and new industry standards that
can quickly make regulations obsolete or unnecessary.
The reality for modern manufacturing firms is that
there are many non-regulatory reasons to operate in a
sustainable manner. Neighboring communities, employees,
and consumers are aware of the potential environmental
impacts of manufacturing and are demanding that
high standards be met. As a result, many California
manufacturers are moving beyond mere compliance and
striving to exceed those standards.
This can payoff in many ways. Excellent
environmental performance may reduce costs through
better efficiencies. A higher level of trust can be built