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Executive forum.

THE POLLUTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT is a risk faced by every member company of RIMS. I think it is the one risk that the public, the government and the business community all agree is of current concern.

Given this, one would think that a lot is being done to clean up existing pollution and prevent future contamination of the environment. However, while millions of dollars have been spent, not much actual cleanup has occurred. I think that industry has done much to prevent future pollution through controlling waste, recycling, and reducing air and water emissions. The government-mandated cleanup effort, in contrast, has done little more than create a lawyer "feeding frenzy."

A more orderly approach to managing this risk must be taken if progress is to be made. While the environmentally concerned are demanding instant solutions, compromises will be required if results are to be obtained economically. Some of the concerns that need to be dealt with include: At what level is something bad? Is it 10 ppm or 1000 ppm? How much risk is acceptable? Some recognition must be given to the fact that nothing is absolutely safe.

Priorities should be established in ranking pollution problems because all pollution can't be dealt with at one time without draining our total resources. A more equitable method of funding the cleanup of existing sites needs to be established, Decisions must be based on scientific facts. Too much of the information used to decide important pollution matters is based on opinion or isolated facts.

Much needs to be done and, by the nature of the topic, government is necessarily going to be heavily involved. If government regulation is to be doable and affordable, RIMS and its members need to be involved in the legislative process. RIMS provides a vehicle through which its members can be involved. There are opportunities in both the chapters and the Society as a whole to get involved with proposed legislation at the community, state and federal levels. Work at controlling your pollution risks now or comply with the law later!

ABOUT RIMS

THE RISK AND INSURANCE MANAGEMENT Society is the world's largest association of risk management and employee benefits professionals. Some 4,500 industrial and service corporations, governmental bodies and non-profit organizations are members of RIMS and its 89 chapters across the United States and Canada.

A board of directors, consisting of an elected representative from each chapter, 10 officers elected annually by the board and about 18 committees govern and direct RIMS activities and programs. RIMS seeks to advance the theory and practice of risk management, a professional discipline vital to the protection and preservation of human and financial resources.

The Annual RIMS Conference provides a forum for the exchange of ideas and information, as does the society's ongoing liaison with the insurance industry, business and academic organizations. RIMS sponsors the Insurance Institute of America's Associate in Risk Management Program and is a member of the International Federation of Risk and Insurance Management Associations.

A proactive voice on behalf of insurance consumers, RIMS monitors and develops positions on proposed regulation and legislation relating to insurance and tax issues. Its analyses of insurance policy terms and conditions ensure maintenance of a competitive insurance market. The society conducts research on the cost of risk and insurance cost/availability and contributes to research efforts of government and industry.

RIMS offers a series of continuing education courses related to various aspects of risk management and insurance. It sponsors RIMSNET, an on-line electronic service, providing daily news abstracts, S&P insurer ratings, a vendor service guide, topical data base, plus a bulletin board and electronic mail. The society publishes Risk Management, Rimscope, Legislative Alerts, books and monographs. It also operates a scholarship fund.
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Title Annotation:managing pollution risk
Author:Haight, David
Publication:Risk Management
Article Type:Column
Date:Mar 1, 1993
Words:622
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