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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Environmental Management System
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1 - Environmental Management System
2 - Ranking the Aspects
3 - Targets and Objectives
4 - EMS Quiz
Environmental Management System

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Environmental Management System

Executive Order 13148 dictates that federal agencies shift from reactive to proactive in anticipating and preventing adverse effects on the environment and human health.

We must go beyond merely complying with regulations and evaluate all environmental impacts of our operations; integrate environmental accountability into daily decision making and long-term planning; implement formal Environmental Management Systems (EMS); establish compliance auditing programs; and take other measures to transform their existing environmental stewardship approaches to a more comprehensive and dynamic mission-driven model.


EMS Chart

As the chart indicate, the EMS is an ongoing policy and will be reviewed every year.

The EMS is flexible and so do not require organization to “retool” their existing activities. An EMS establishes a management framework by which an organization’s impacts on the environment can by systematically identified and reduced. For example, many organizations have an active and effective pollution prevention policy. This can be incorporated into the overall EMS.



The First Step:

List all activities associated with our facility and research-related operations and then identifying the significant aspects of those activities that have an impact on the environment. Do they produce waste? Do they impact the land, water, and air? Are hazardous materials invovled? How much water and energy are used?

  • Research Activities
  • Facility Operation Activities
  • Construction and Demolition Activities

      Determine if there environmental aspects associated with each activities


      Aspects and Impacts


      A closer looks at Aspect & Impact

      Aspects


      Purchasing Hazardous Chemicals

      Impacts

      Depletion of natural resources in the following ways:

      • Energy utilized in chemical manufacturing; and
      • Energy requirements for chemical storage (e.g., use of electricity for low-temperature refrigeration or ventilation

      Generation of hazardous waste by the following activities:

      • Duplicate purchasing of hazardous chemicals already on location inventory;
      • Large-scale purchasing of unusable quantities of chemical; and,
      • Chemical is not used, resulting in chemical entering hazardous waste stream due to expired use date.

      Aspects


      Use of Hazardous Chemicals

      Impacts

      Contamination of land, water, and air

      Depletion of natural resources in the following ways:

      • Energy utilized in laboratory manipulations (e.g., use of electricity for electrophoresis, centrifugation, fumehood operation, etc.);
      • Use of water, plastic ware, and paper; and,
      • Increased chemical consumption due to use of macro chemical methodologies rather than employing use of newer microchemistry techniques.

      Generation of hazardous wastes and the cost for disposal

      Chemical release or spills and the cost for HAZMAT or emergency spill response team clean-up and disposal.

      Aspects


      Vehicle Maintenance

      Impacts

      • Hazardous waste generation
      • Gasoline consumption
      • Noise generation
      • Electricity consumption
      • Solid waste generation
      • Water consumption
      • Waste water generation
      • Release of volatiles

      Aspects


      Office Work

      Impacts

      • Electricity consumption
      • Water consumption
      • Waste water generation
      • Release of ozone depleting substances in air cooling units
      • Solid waste generation
      • Disposal of toxics from computer toner, etc.

      Aspects


      Renovation of Existing Facilities

      Impacts

      • Generation of hazardous waste (PCB containing materials, asbestos containing materials, mercury containing materials).
      • Generation of solid waste
      • Depletion of natural resources

      Aspects


      Construction of New Facilities

      Impacts

      • Depletion of natural resources (construction materials, fossil fuels).
      • Generation of solid waste
      • Land and waterway contamination (run-off from construction sites).



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      Last Modified: 2/25/2010
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