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									                                                         EMS NEWS
                                                         Environmental Management Systems in
      www.peercenter.net                                 the Public Sector
 “The one-stop shop for public entity Environmental Management System information and resources.”            Issue #4: March 2007


Convention Center Receives ISO Certification                                  This EMS News (March 2007) is the fourth in a series of
                                                                              newsletters supported through a cooperative agreement
                The Orange County Convention                                  with the EPA Office of Wastewater Management that will
                                                                              be published quarterly by the PEER Center. The goal of
                Center (OCCC), a participant in the
                                                                              each EMS Newsletter will be to keep readers informed of
                3rd EMS Initiative for Public                                 current developments, events and articles on environmental
                Entities, recently became the first                           management systems (EMS) in the public sector.
                convention center in the U.S. to
                achieve third-party ISO 14001:                                NEW RESOURCES
                2004. The registration was
conducted by NSF-ISR, Ltd, with the scope covering                            Toolkit for Wastewater Utilities
Building Services. The OCCC was supported in their                            Environmental Management Systems
implementation efforts through technical assistance
provided by the University of Florida TREEO Center,                                              This toolkit provides a
a PEER Local Resource Center.                                                                    collection of innovative tools
                                                                                                 designed specifically to assist
As a participant in the national EMS initiative                                                  wastewater utilities from
(2003-2005), the OCCC was able to accomplish a                                                   making the initial business
number of achievements in the building services                                                  case decision for EMS
recycling program, including:                                                                    implementation to step-by-
                                                                                                 step EMS implementation and
 Streamline communications concerning                                         best practices guidance. The Toolkit was
 environmental practices                                                      developed in partnership with U.S. EPA's Office
 Increase environmental awareness among                                       of Wastewater Management as well as
 employees                                                                    wastewater managers and practitioners with
 $77,500 in tipping fees saved due to recycling                               experience in EMS implementation at their
 efforts, with another $31,435 in recycling rebates                           facilities. To enter the Toolkit, click here!
 9,000 tons of material diverted for remanufacture
 40% recovery of all waste in 2006 compared to                                Coming Soon!
 less than 1% in 2003
 871 tons of cardboard recycled                                               The Global Environment & Technology Foundation
 5.8 tons of office paper recycled in 2006                                    (www.getf.org) is working in partnership with the
                                                                              U.S. EPA Office of Wastewater Management
With the recent achievement of ISO 14001                                      and a group of wastewater practitioners on an
registration, the OCCC has continued to position                              EMS and Asset Managaement Pamphlet. The
itself as an environmental leader. Hats off OCCC!                             document will highlight logical connection points
                                                                              between the two tools and their use in the
                                                                              wastewater sector.
LRC CORNER                                              Sustainable Earth Initiative

                                                        In March 2007, the Green California Summit and
The eleven PEER Local Resource Centers (LRCs),
                                                        Exposition will be held in Sacramento California,
located around the country, promote EMS
                                                        touted as “a groundbreaking conference
competence and encourage government-to-
                                                        dedicated to state and local government efforts
government sharing and mentoring between public
                                                        to green the Golden State. Susan Sakaki of
sector organizations. Each Center supplies
                                                        Sustainable Earth Initiative will be one of the
communities with technical expertise, field-tested
                                                        instructors in a two day workshop called "Green
tools, and support for EMS implementation. For more
                                                        Mandates," providing an overview of EMS
information, visit:
                                                        implementation in the public sector. For more
www.peercenter.net/whocanhelp/lrc.cfm
                                                        information, please visit: www.green-
                                                        technology.org/gcsummit
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
                                                        Kansas State University – Pollution Prevention
                     The Texas Commission on            Institute
                     Environmental Quality (TCEQ)
                     recently published an EMS                           The LRC family is proud to
                     guidance manual entitled, “A                        welcome a new member. Barb
                     Model Environmental                                 Johnson is leading the LRC
                     Management System”. This                            activities for the Kansas State
                     manual serves as a guide for                        University Pollution Prevention
                     local governments considering      Institute (PPI). Barb has been with Kansas
                     the development of an EMS and      State PPI for six years and serves as secretary
is presented as actual working papers from a            for the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable
hypothetical city: Green City, Texas. To download a     (NPPR) Board and board liaison for the NPPR
copy, click here!                                       Local Government networking group. A natural
                                                        fit!
University of Florida - Center for Training,
Research, and Education for Environmental
Occupations (TREEO Center)

The TREEO Center, in conjunction with the National
Biosolids Partnership (NBP), conducted a two-day
EMS workshop, January 23-24, 2007 in Seattle,
Washington, with a primary focus on conducting an
Internal EMS Audit. In addition, time was spent on
the Status Review process and the Verification
Audit.

In addition, JEA, an electric, water, and wastewater
utility in Jacksonville, Florida, contracted with the
TREEO Center to assist in preparation and
implementation of an EMS for the Ridenour Water         Have an EMS Case Study to share?
Treatment Plant. The plant recently became the          Please submit case studies to
first water facility to receive ISO 14001               jduteau@getf.org for posting on
certification in Florida. Congratulations JEA and       the National PEER Center website.
TREEO!
                                                     practices that go beyond state and federal
         V-REMS PARTNERSHIP                          regulatory requirements. PHA is the first and
                                                     only port in the nation to achieve recognition in
The V-REMS Partnership is proud to announce
                                                     EPA’s Performance Track program.
the release of a website, located at
www.vrems.org!
                                                     As part of the program, the port has committed
                                                     to reduce total water use by 5%, non-hazardous
The website:
                                                     waste by 15%, emissions of volatile organic
   highlights the many benefits of the
                                                     compounds by 15% and energy use by 10%. The
   partnership;
                                                     port will also construct about 70 acres of
   provides an overview of the V-REMS
                                                     valuable wetlands from recycled construction
   workgroups and invites participation;
                                                     material.
   welcomes interested parties to learn more
   about and join V-REMS;
                                                     EMS LEADERSHIP PERSPECTIVE
   shares V-REMS related accomplishments and
                                                     Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
   publicly available documents such as the V-
                                                     (TCEQ)/Clean Texas Program
   REMS annual report; and,
   contains a calendar of events pertinent to
                                                     The following is based on phone interviews with
   this regional partnership.
                                                     representatives of TCEQ/Clean Texas Program.

                                                     1.   Texas has been one of the most active
                                                          states with promoting EMS. What is TCEQ’s
                                                          general viewpoint on the use of EMSs?

                                                     The TCEQ began promoting and educating
About V-REMS…                                        Texans on the advantages of undertaking an
                                                     environmental management system (EMS) on the
The Virginia Regional Environmental Management
                                                     heels of a state mandate that resulted from the
System (V-REMS) is a partnership of over 50
                                                     Texas state legislature in 2001. For the TCEQ,
federal, state, and local public and private
                                                     this mandate was critical in giving the authority
organizations that collaborate to address regional
                                                     and setting the direction to actively support
community and environmental issues.
                                                     specific approaches and tools known by the
                                                     agency to be effective, such as an EMS.
The innovative partnership strengthens
                                                     Establishing the agency’s objective, this mandate
community relationships and promotes
                                                     directed the TCEQ to form a program that
environmental sustainability by reducing air
                                                     integrates branches of the agency, such as
emissions, improving water quality, and minimizing
                                                     permitting, compliance assistance, and
waste in the areas where its partners operate.
                                                     enforcement, to expediently offer regulatory
For more information on the partnership, contact
                                                     benefits to industry and businesses that take a
Amy Alton at amy.alton@getf.org.
                                                     leadership role in protecting Texas’ environment.
                                                     The program also encourages EMS
                                                     implementation by regulated entities, public and
EMS SECTOR CORNER
                                                     private organizations, state agencies, and local
                                                     governments. The TCEQ began placing
                   The Port of Houston Authority
                                                     significant focus on developing models and
                   (PHA) was recently recognized
                                                     guidance materials specific to local governments
                   by the U.S. EPA for renewing
                                                     and small businesses, since these audiences
                   its commitment to implement
                                                     lacked available resources and case studies.
                   environmentally beneficial
2. TCEQ developed the Clean Texas Program,           environmental impact for the state of Texas. To
   tell me a little about this?                      facilitate this, we included questions regarding
                                                     past performance with environmental
The Clean Texas Program (www.cleantexas.org)
                                                     improvements as a key benchmark during initial
is a voluntary environmental leadership program
                                                     applications. As sites work through the program,
to protect air, water, and land resources in
                                                     they are required to submit annual progress
Texas. The program:
                                                     reports, which we can compare with initial
•   Recognizes organizations for creative            baselines.
    approaches in resolving environmental
    challenges and setting goals that go beyond or   3. What are the benefits to joining the Clean
    outside regulatory requirements                     Texas Program and how many current
•   Supports regional partnerships and                  members are public entities?
    networking to achieve local goals
                                                     The benefits of participation are
•   Promotes public awareness and participation
                                                     wide-ranging across four central
    in activities that protect air, water, or land
                                                     categories: Recognition,
    resources
                                                     Networking, Technical and Program
•   Encourages organizations to implement
                                                     Assistance, and Regulatory
    sustainable practices
                                                     Benefits. The benefits are
•   Reports measurable environmental results
                                                     captured in more detail on our web site at
The Clean Texas Program is open to all types of      www.cleantexas.org.
organizations, including local governments.
                                                     The development of a benefits program is always
There are four levels of membership (Bronze,
                                                     difficult due to the range of organizations and
Silver, Gold, and Platinum), with the top-three
                                                     sectors a program must respond to. The one
levels requiring implementation of an EMS. The
                                                     revelation we have discovered is that the
top tier mirrors that of the EPA Performance
                                                     development of benefits has been a tremendous
Track Program (www.epa.gov/performancetrack),
                                                     way to educate our own agency on the usefulness
offering the opportunity for reciprocal benefits
                                                     of an EMS and promote cross-functional
to participating organizations. Similar to other
                                                     discussions on formalizing regulatory benefits
state recognition programs, the TCEQ views the
                                                     (i.e., as an agency, what are we comfortable
Bronze level as on on-ramp or entry level to the
                                                     offering? What can be realistically implemented
program. Bronze-level participants show
                                                     and managed?). The last thing we want, or any
commitment to environmental improvements, but
                                                     other state recognition program for that matter,
lack the tools and support needed to jumpstart
                                                     is for one arm to promote a program and another
their EMS program. Our team aims to bridge
                                                     to not recognize it on the ground. Therefore, we
this need.
                                                     have developed a memorandum of agreement
Participants in the program are recognized each      (MOA) between the division running the Clean
May during the Environmental Trade Fair and          Texas Program and the regulatory/enforcement
Conference in Austin, Texas, as well as through      branches. This dialogue and agreement has
the Clean Texas web site, case studies,              greatly promoted relationships between our
performance reports, press releases, on-site         divisions, and also between regulatory offices
recognition events, and customized outreach          and companies.
materials for Gold and Platinum members.
                                                     Additionally, one component of our program,
We are approaching a point whereby a critical        which is somewhat different than other states,
mass of organizations have worked through the        is that we allow regulated sites to request
EMS process as part of the Clean Texas Program,      benefits on a case-by-case basis, as long as they
allowing us the opportunity to gauge                 do not increase pollution or decrease public
performance and the extent of positive               participation. We felt this was critical as Texas
is a relatively large and diverse state, and we      (Manufacturing Extension Programs). We also
understood that “blanket benefits” have              encourage interested parties to use tools
limitations.                                         developed by the TCEQ (i.e., Model EMS for
                                                     Local Governments) and to visit the PEER Center
4. What EMS support services does TCEQ               web site for additional resources at
   offer to public entities?                         <www.peercenter.net>.

The most significant service offering, specific      5. What action by TCEQ has been most
to public entities, is the facilitation of EMS          successful with promoting EMSs within the
General and Implementation training workshops           public sector? What has been the greatest
through an EPA grant. Most of the sessions take         barrier to overcome?
place in large metro areas, most notably Dallas-
Ft. Worth and Houston. In addition, we also          The Clean Texas program promotes the
offer EMS assistance through our headquarters        advantages of an EMS to targeted organizations
and regional (16 total) offices.                     as a key tool for achieving environmental
                                                     performance.
In terms of the Clean Texas Program, we have
created an innovative method for independently       We have also conducted direct recruitment
assessing an EMS for public entity participants.     drives through letter-writing, contacting trade
Finding that many public entities either don’t       associations, and through direct presentations;
have the resources or the driver to conduct          however, the one approach that continues to be
third-party evaluations of their EMS, the            most successful is working with existing
program now allows for local governments and         contacts. In addition, as an outgrowth of early
quasi-governmental sites to use an internal          EMS-training sessions, we started a “reunion”
auditor with the proper credentials to perform       program, where we invite participating
the assessment as long as the auditor doesn’t        organizations to share experiences, plans, and
directly report to the on-site manager. Many         encourage one another along the EMS-
public entities have found that it is less           implementation journey.
expensive and complicated to obtain training for
                                                     We are finding that public entities face
a staff member to earn the proper credentials
                                                     challenges in allocating funding resources for
than hire a third-party, with the added benefit
                                                     EMS development with their competing
of then having a qualified EMS auditor on staff.
                                                     priorities. There are numerous organizations
To further support this, the TCEQ offers
                                                     that could still positively improve their
courses and opportunities for hands-on training
                                                     environmental performance while also improving
during assessment visits, encourages continuing
                                                     their operation’s bottom line. Our goal remains
education training, and fosters the possibility of
                                                     constant—to assist the public entities
cross-auditing as more and more local
                                                     interested in launching their own EMS program.
governments implement an EMS.
                                                     This PEER Center EMS Newsletter will be
What if a public entity approaches TCEQ and is
                                                     developed quarterly under a Cooperative
committed and ready to go with EMS
                                                     Agreement between the U.S. Environmental
implementation, but needs guidance?
                                                     Protection Agency and the
Our office meets with the public entity              Global Environment & Technology Foundation
representatives to gauge the general state and
readiness of the organization to implement an        To submit an idea to EMS News, or to join the
EMS. From this conversation and assessment,          list serve to receive a quarterly copy, please
we are better able to direct the organization to     contact Jeff DuTeau at 703-379-2713 or
specific universities and assistance centers         jduteau@getf.org.

								
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