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EMS Action Plan

Organization(s) Environmental Protection Agency - Region 1
Project Description EPA continues implementing a variety of innovative programs to accomplish the three goals of the EPA EMS Action Plan: promote wider adoption of EMSs across a range of organizations and settings; promote excellence in the practice of EMS inside and outside the agency; and fuller integration of EMSs into Agency programs and activities.

An updated draft of the full Action Plan is available online. Key elements of the action plan are:

1. Develop the National Environmental Performance Track to provide incentives to organizations to recognize and reward adoption of effective EMSs. 228 Charter members were honored in December 2000 on the occasion of their acceptance into Performance Track. The program consists of two tracks. EPA invited additional applications for the National Environmental Achievement Track (Achievement Track) in two sessions in 2001. The National Environmental Stewardship Track (Stewardship Track) was announced in summer of 2001. Facilities seeking entry into the Achievement Track must have adopted and implemented an environmental management system (EMS), commit to improving their environmental performance, commit to public outreach and performance reporting, and have a record of sustained compliance with environmental requirements. Participants also prepare an annual report on their environmental performance and their progress toward their environmental commitments. Participants are able to take advantage of a variety of program benefits, including recognition, information exchange, and administrative streamlining.

2. Tailor EMS tools and services to meet the needs of select sectors and promote EMSs in select geographic areas. Several new tools are available currently from EPA and a variety of additional tools are in the development process. The EPA Office of Water recently released an update of An Implementation Guide for Small and Medium Sized Organizations (Implementation Guide for SME's). Many changes were made in this second edition of the Guide to improve its usefulness and to reflect EMS experience gained over the last four years. EPA's Design for Environment (DfE) Program has released the Integrated Environmental Management Systems (IEMS) Implementation Guide. This Guide was developed based on a pilot project with printers. Both guides use ISO 14000 structure as a framework and include helpful pointers on implementation as well as examples of tools and forms, but the two apply somewhat different formats to the process. The DfE guide makes use of the DfE technical approach in the EMS design process, which stresses risk management, consideration of cross-media impacts, efficient use of energy and resources, product and process responsibility, and the integration of environmental and health and safety requirements. Concurrent with the release of the DfE IEMS Guide, DfE has also released an Integrated Environmental Management Systems Company Manual Template for Small Business. The Company Manual Template contains examples and samples of documents and procedures that may be adapted by a particular company and its EMS. EPA Region 1 is developing an EMS Implementation Guide for Colleges and Universities with the assistance of a variety of colleges and universities, both within and outside the New England Region, as well as the College Consortium on Environmental Excellence (C2E2). Univ. of MA Lowell, under grants from EPA Region 1 and EPA's Office of Water, has launched an EMS Service Center that provides EMS awareness training and EMS implementation assistance for public agencies, such as municipalities, wastewater treatment plants, hospitals, and educational institutions. Implementation assistance consists of extensive "just-in-time" training and individualized assistance over the 12-18 month EMS implementation process. For information contact: Matt Donahue, EMS Service Center (978) 934-4741.

3. EPA is conducting and supporting EMS training for EPA and State personnel, development of a support network, implementation of EMS at agency facilities in accordance with Executive Order 13148, and EMS implementation within other federal agencies. EPA is also continuing a major multi-year research project on the performance attributes of EMS through the National Environmental Database on EMS (NDEMS) project in cooperation with the Multi State Workgroup on EMS, the Environmental Law Institute, and the University of North Carolina.

More Info www.epa.gov/ems
 
Project Contact
Name Jean Holbrook, Marge Miranda, Martha Curran, or John Moskal
Phone 800-252-3402
E-mail
 
Project Keywords
Areas of P2 Expertise Environmental Management Systems
 
Source
Newsletter Northeast States Pollution Prevention News - Vol. 11 No. 1, Spring 2001

 

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