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Microsoft SharePoint Custom Environmental Compliance System

Leveraging Microsoft Office 365™ as an environmental compliance document management system
TRC has managed the environmental compliance needs for multiple Class 1 railroad companies on a programmatic level. Each railroad company maintains facilities in numerous states across the U.S. and needs to track their compliance status with various environmental permit conditions and plans associated with applicable federal and state environmental regulations such as:

  • Oil Pollution Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plans
  • Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPP)
  • National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permits for Wastewater and Stormwater
  • Petroleum Bulk Storage and Chemical Bulk Storage Programs – Underground and Aboveground Storage Tanks
  • Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-know Act
    •  Emergency Planning & Notification, and Tier II Reporting
  • Emergency Response and Facility Response Plans
  • Waste Management (hazardous and non-hazardous)

Commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) EHS software packages include a prescribed document management system for tracking the preparation, update and compliance status for existing environmental permit requirements and associated plans before their regulatory due dates.
This allows a corporate management team to manage the process for creating and reviewing versions of compliance documents. However, COTS EHS software can be expensive to configure and maintain.

For this project, the railroad company wanted to leverage their Microsoft Office 365 SharePoint environment to have visibility and control over the status of applicable environmental permits and associated plans.

TRC designed an Environmental Compliance Document Management System based on the railroad company’s applicable requirements and workflow using their Microsoft Office 365 online environment and licenses. The system utilizes a SharePoint document library with a Microsoft Power App user interface and Power Automate workflows for automating delivery of e-mail notifications and other repeat tasks. A Power BI web interface provides customized dashboards for reviewing overall compliance key performance indicators (KPIs).

This system provides a single information management system for all applicable environmental permits and associated plans across the organization’s regions and facilities. The information in the system is used to identify and reapply for environmental permits and update associated plans well before they expire to ensure ongoing compliance with applicable environmental requirements.

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