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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com.
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