Introduction to Environmental Management Systems (EMS) Environmental Health & SafetyEnvironmental Protection Program 2008-2009
What’s an EMS (Environmental Management System) • An EMS is simply a collection of activities undertaken to ensure that environmental issues are managed....An EMS is important for: • Consistently complying with environmental laws • Improving overall environmental performance • Addressing environmental liability from current or past practices • Maximizing investment in environmental affairs • Integration of environmental objectives into overall mission and business objectives • Providing an environmentally safe workplace
EMS Basis & Components An EMS is based on the following components: Policy • Policy • Planning • Implementation • Quality assurance/control • Management review • Stakeholder involvement • Community Environmental Activity • (Required for TCEQ or ISO 14001) Review for Continuous Improvement
Is an EMS Important? • Yes.... • Identifies causes of environmental problems and is used to eliminate them • Improves communication and assigns responsibility • Saves money and makes good business sense • Important to satisfy grant or other business terms
Also...to get ahead of the curve.... • EPA enforcement actions on colleges and universities • Example: Settlement with EPA will cost Fitchburg State College $205,000 • UT System Environmental Advisory Committee • Identified environmental management systems as a method for managing environmental affairs and reducing and controlling environmental risks
Does UTHSCH Have an EMS? • Yes....and it’s in the process of being formalized to meet Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) certification standards excluding third party certification • Our current EMS consists of an environmental policy, ranked list of environmental aspects, and programs for minimizing our environmental impacts related to our aspects which are review by our Institutional Chemical Safety Committee.
Policy – Environmental Management Systems As The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHSC-H) community collectively strives for excellence in education, research, patient care and community service, we do so with a dedication to preserving the safety, health, and well-being of our campus and the surrounding environment. The UTHSC-H wishes to ensure that our activities do not negatively impact our surrounding environment, and is committed to continually assess and improve our efforts to: To protect our environment, we enlist the aid of all the members of the UTHSC-H community to help identify areas necessitating attention and opportunities for improvement. The UTHSC-H Environmental Health & Safety Department (EH&S) serves as the institutional catalyst for our environmental protection activities, with the Environmental Protection Program (EPP) providing daily services ranging from training and effluent release monitoring, to the collection and removal of hazardous waste materials from research labs, clinics, auxiliary enterprises, and facility operations. In addition, EH&S utilizes cross-functional teams through the Institutional Chemical Safety Committee and the Area Safety Liaison program to help identify environmental aspects and goals related to our products and services. Through this active community effort, the UTHSC-H will be able to achieve excellence while improving the environmental quality of our institution and its surroundings. I encourage everyone to actively participate in this important institutional effort. • Educate our community about the environmental impacts of their activities, and the methods and means to minimize possible impacts • Eliminate or minimize wastes and by-product materials, and substitute with less hazardous products where possible • Ensure compliance with all applicable environmental requirements James T. Willerson, MD 11/2/2004 President The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Planning - Environmental Management Systems • An important component of EMS’s are identification and prioritization of environmental aspects of an organization • These environmental aspects are products or services produced or performed by an organization that impact our environment • Example: Environmental aspect: Emergency Power Environmental category: Air Pollution Organization “unit”: Facilities Maintenance
Implementation – Environmental Management Systems • Once an environmental aspect has been identified EH&S develops policies and procedures to address environmental risks and compliance, and minimize environmental impacts Example: Emergency Power Generation Goal: Reduce NOx and VOC emissions that lead to the formation of ground level ozone, and to comply with the Texas Clean Air Act Policy & Procedures: Includes recording generator run times on a standard log sheet, and the utilization of less polluting natural gas emergency generators for new installations. EH&S records the usage from each generator on a monthly basis and compares to regulatory limits. EH&S also conducts annual training for maintenance personnel. Programs: Quarterly survey of generators and fuel storage tanks, and annual air emissions survey
Management Review – Environmental Management Systems • Measurement process with environmental goals in mind • Management should consider the need for any changes to the EMS and make assignments for any changes needed. • Assignments should be consistent with the roles and responsibilities previously established.
EMS…In a Nutshell…. • Move from identifying an interface with the environment, to characterizing the nature of the effect and estimating the degree of impact and developing programs to minimize environmental impacts and improve compliance with environmental regulations • Create awareness among faculty, staff, and students to integrate environmental considerations into the research, educational, and service mission of the University. • Provides a framework to set environmental goals, improve performance, and reduce environmental costs and liabilities