CHAPTER 6. SUMMARY AND DISCUSSION
compliance, educate individuals involved in the compliance process, and facilitate greater
tracking of compliance. Each of these effects is discussed in this section.
First, the work presented in this thesis can improve the rate of compliance. As noted in
the introduction, there is evidence that companies would like to be in compliance with
environmental regulations, and their failure to do so is often inadvertent. By making it
easier to understand the requirements for compliance, thus helping companies that want
to comply with the regulations be better equipped to do so, the work presented in this
thesis could improve the rate of compliance.
Second, the work presented in this thesis can reduce the cost and time for both companies
and regulators working with regulations. Determining how to comply with regulations
using the current paper-based approach to compliance checking is time-consuming, risky,
and expensive for companies. Regulators also spend a significant amount of time and
money helping companies figure out compliance requirements and auditing companies to
ensure that they comply with the rules. A software system that reduces the time and cost
of these activities may result in a significant cost savings for all parties involved.
Third, the work presented in this thesis can be helpful for educating companies,
regulators, or other parties involved with the regulation process. A software system that
educates users on compliance requirements, and also fosters convenient research of
supporting documents, may improve the overall knowledge of regulation requirements in
industry. The approach to working with regulations by guiding users through them may
also be useful for training regulators. During interviews with regulators, there was
anecdotal evidence that the system would be useful for training, with some regulators
commenting that it would be helpful for training new inspectors.
Fourth, the work presented in this thesis can be useful for tracking compliance. Using
systems like RAS, users would retain a complete audit trail of how their compliance
processes fit with the regulation. This audit trail could facilitate communication of the
company's approach to complying with the regulations to different employees or auditors.