• Yamilet Aponte-Claudio

Nortol environmental safety consulting firm thrives after $10K initial investment

Updated: Oct 29, 2021



Norma Torres, owner of Nortol Environmental & Occupational Safety Inc.

Nortol Environmental & Occupational Safety Inc. — an environmental, industrial hygiene and occupational safety consulting firm — has experienced its best stretch since opening for business over the past four years.


Out looking for “personal flexibility and financial liberty,” Norma Torres made a personal investment of $10,000 to build her business in 2001 after her husband passed and she had the financial need to continue raising her two children at that time.


“The consulting business in all areas, I think both at the level of science and business, and so on, is a business with ups and downs. Fortunately, throughout these almost 20 years, we have had the blessing of having a fixed clientele that today you see that they have entered the business, and they have remained,” said Torres, owner of Nortol Environmental & Occupational Safety Inc.


“Also, because it is a company directly related to construction, manufacturing, and industries in Puerto Rico, in those years when we were experiencing a slow economy, the business was generating enough to maintain the operation with a minor gain, no loss. But the gain was limited,” she said.


However, after Hurricane María, the business has had this unique boom in job and service applications, and it has been extraordinary, she said.


“From 2017 to now, the amount of work we have been able to do has been extraordinary and it continues to come in,” said Torres.

When an entity — which can be public or private, or even residential — needs some type of permit related to the construction, demolition, remodeling, or rehabilitation of its building, there are a series of environmental requirements that are required that include, for example, evaluations of lead in paints of proposed structures for remodeling.


In which case, Nortol Environmental takes charge of conducting on-site technical evaluations and reconfirm whether there is evidence of such potential contaminants.


It requires all employers to provide their workers with an environment free of recognized hazards and, as part of that compliance, many times that necessitates a series of studies or environmental tests in interior spaces where employees are, Torres said.


If a hazardous environment were to be identified, the firm would refer the client to a specialized contractor that would eliminate the problem and depending on the project, might receive monthly or yearly visits.


Torres assures that with “discipline, constancy and perseverance” anybody can build a successful business and thrive as well.


“I believe a lot in organization. The success of your business depends on your willingness to work up to 12 to 14 hours a day, initially and then periodically. You need effort and more perseverance,” said Torres.