While many of us are about to start (again) on our new year’s resolution to lose a few pounds, our blokes from the emerald isles are offering advice (or “advise” if you’re so inclined) on how to savea few pounds – currency, that is – when dealing with an environmental crisis (see article linked above).

For example, last year I represented a manufacturing company that suffered a fire at its storage and production facility. The company had large stocks of cyanide-related products – not exactly the most pleasant stuff to have laying around exposed and being washed into the neighboring creek. Fortunately, the company had an emergency response plan in place and the second call (after the one to the fire department) was to a competent environmental consulting company – which is step 1 in this article. I came in shortly thereafter (see step 3 below) and helped with the consulting and information flows among the company, the environmental consultants, the environmental regulators, and the insurance carriers for the company and for those potentially responsible for the fire. The needs (and demands) of each were sometimes at odds with one another. (For example, the environmental regulators obviously wanted the site cleaned as soon as possible, while those representing potentially responsible parties needed sufficient time for investigation of the fire.)

For purposes of English, I mean, American, translation, I summarize the author’s advice for dealing with an environmental crisis:

  1. Have an environmental consultant on speed dial.
  2. Call said consultant ASAP.
  3. Get an attorney on board as the hub for information (in & out).
  4. One task of said attorney is to review your coverage options (hopefully you’ve done this beforehand also) and put everyone on notice.
  5. Don’t lie; however, most information should go through the attorney where possible. (This is not exactly a paraphrase of the author’s #5, but, given the American dynamic, this add-on is essential.)

Use these tips to tell your potential environmental crisis: “Beannacht.” (Google tells me that’s Irish for “goodbye” – not to be confused with an actual “Irish goodbye“.)