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  • Writer's pictureRache Brand

Chemical Compliance Stalwart: How Vertére's Inventory Management Shields Businesses from Hefty EPA Fines

In 2024, environmental sustainability and regulatory chemical compliance are more than good business practices; they are mandatory for economic survival. Modern eco-friendly codes of conduct apply specifically to large industrial companies that use chemical research laboratories as a core function of their business. For the researcher, having a key understanding of what is in place in your lab at any given time is essential. However, if organizations do not correctly report the specific chemicals they hold at any given time, they could face thousands of dollars in fines or be completely shut down. To overcome regulatory roadblocks, sophisticated laboratory inventory management systems are a must. Vertére is a tenured company that answers the compliance challenge. 


Vertére provides flexible and data-driven chemical inventory management software for research labs, government agencies, and industrial corporations. Vertere's tools are essential for organizational efficiency, environmental stewardship, and financial prudence. The software suite enables precise tracking of chemical inventories, optimizing resource utilization and preventing potentially ruinous fines for regulatory non-compliance.


Over the next few years, the market is expected to nearly double with new labs being developed. This software plays a key role.



Vertere lab

The Stark Reality of Non-Compliance

The importance of stringent laboratory inventory management is starkly illustrated through case studies where the lack of such systems led to severe financial and reputational damage for companies due to non-compliance with the EPA's regulations. These examples underscore the critical need for solutions like Vertére's, which not only streamline inventory management but also ensure adherence to regulatory standards, safeguarding against the dire consequences of non-compliance. More than ever, regulatory framework and accountability is going to play a role in protecting our future.  


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is intensifying its scrutiny and enforcement of how companies manage their chemical inventories, particularly focusing on substances that are persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBT). The EPA's actions include implementing detailed reporting requirements for companies that manufacture or import chemicals, including per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), known for their long-lasting effects on the environment and human health.


Under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), companies must report any manufactured or imported PFAS or products containing PFAS. The reporting standard mandates that companies disclose information "known to or reasonably ascertainable by" them. This includes information within the company's control, like chemical inventory. The EPA's standard requires due diligence, requiring companies to regularly review their files and possibly reach out to suppliers or downstream users to fill any gaps in their knowledge​​. 


These measures by the EPA illustrate the agency's commitment to ensuring public safety and environmental protection by holding companies accountable for accurately reporting and managing chemicals. If they do not comply, they will be severely penalized, as evidenced by the following case studies from 2023 and 2024. Vertére’s software enables an easy reporting mechanism that allows for instant access to data. 


Chemicals

The ChIM® Chemical Inventory Management Module, in particular, is a core component of the software, enabling labs to manage chemical records from receipt to disposal efficiently. This module aids in automating regulatory compliance, reducing purchasing and disposal costs, managing inventory security, and maintaining a complete audit trail of container movements. It also provides access to a wealth of chemical information, including physical and chemical properties, safety data, and regulatory information, which can be customized to meet the specific inventory, regulatory, and safety requirements of different labs​​.


To illustrate the outcomes of what happens when this data is not accurately tracked, here are several case studies:


Case Study: COIM USA: A Case of Inaccurate Hazardous Chemical Reporting

COIM USA found itself in the crosshairs of the EPA when it was fined $101,400 for inaccurately reporting its activities involving 1,4-Dioxane, a hazardous chemical, at its chemical manufacturing facility in West Deptford, New Jersey. 


This violation of the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) stemmed from COIM's failure to accurately report the off-site transfers and disposal methods of 1,4-Dioxane in their Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) reports for the years 2018 through 2021. 


The inaccuracies deprived local communities and officials of critical information regarding the presence of chemicals in their vicinity. A software system like Vertere's could have significantly helped COIM USA prevent this fine by ensuring accurate and comprehensive tracking and reporting of hazardous chemicals. 



Case Study: Omaha Chemical Manufacturing Facility: Multiple Violations and Fines

The (EPA) imposed a penalty of $179,596 on Greenfield Global USA, Inc., a chemical repackaging, formulation, and storage services company based in Brookfield, Connecticut. This fine was levied due to the company's alleged violations of the Clean Air Act's General Duty Clause (CAA GDC) and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). 


The EPA's enforcement action highlighted the company's failure to design and maintain a safe facility to prevent chemical releases, as required under CAA GDC, and its failure to properly submit nine reports regarding certain toxic chemicals to EPA's Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) database for the years 2017 and 2018.


Vertere's laboratory inventory management system is designed to provide comprehensive tracking and reporting capabilities for chemical inventories. By implementing such a system, Greenfield could have maintained accurate records of the chemicals stored and processed at its facility, ensuring timely and accurate reporting to the EPA's TRI database



Vertére's Solution: Precision and Compliance in Laboratory Management

Vertére's product suite is meticulously designed to address the multifaceted challenges of modern laboratory inventory management. At its core, the system provides unparalleled visibility into chemical inventories, enabling institutions to manage their resources with unprecedented accuracy and efficiency. This capability is not just about economic savings; it's a critical component of environmental protection and regulatory compliance. Vertere helps institutions avoid non-compliance pitfalls and hefty fines that can jeopardize the future of their operations and reputation by ensuring that chemical inventories are accurately documented and managed.


The trajectory of business and research is unequivocally towards greater environmental responsibility. Vertére's inventory management system is an essential tool for operational efficiency in the face of EPA regulations, and it could also be an asset in building consumer trust. The ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) score, a critical metric for assessing an organization's sustainability practices, increasingly influences investment decisions and public perceptions. There could be a future in which Vertére's system is crucial in improving a company's ESG scores by ensuring their chemical inventory practices are sustainable and compliant with environmental regulations. This could be a major catalyst or hindrance to future company growth.



Vertére Program

Vertére as a Force for Sustainable Progress

Vertére can be the confluence of technology, environmental stewardship, and regulatory compliance, offering a critical solution for the future of laboratories across various sectors. By providing a comprehensive, efficient, and user-friendly inventory management system, Vertére helps institutions save money and avoid fines and is pivotal in promoting environmental sustainability. As the world moves towards a greener future, adopting systems like Vertére's VIM Enterprise chemical management system will be crucial in navigating the challenges of modern laboratory management, ensuring that institutions can contribute positively to environmental conservation while maintaining operational excellence.



The performance quoted represents past performance. Past performance does not guarantee future results.


Not all investments made by Star Strong Capital LLC should be expected to be profitable.


The information and opinions provided herein should not be taken as specific advice on the merits of any investment decision. Investors should make their own decisions based on such investors’ own review of publicly available information and should not rely on the information contained herein.

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