ASQ - Energy and Environmental Division

Environmental Management System Update

By Tom Koepp, Bechtel-Jacobs LLC

In a memorandum to heads of departmental elements on Earth Day 2003, Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Spencer Abraham recently stated his agency's commitment to protecting the environment while conducting its important national security and energy-related missions. At present, DOE has seven major facilities that have been registered—by independent third-party registrars—as conforming to ISO 14001.

The memorandum also mentioned that President George W. Bush supports the implementation of environmental management systems at federal facilities and that his Performance Management Agenda recognizes the importance of such systems in the effective and efficient operation of the federal government. An EMS provides a systematic framework to identify and address the environmental impacts of work, ensures compliance and regulatory requirements, and determines opportunities for further and continual improvement.

It is the Secretary of Energy's goal to be consistent with the requirements of Executive Order 13146, "Greening the Government through Leadership in Environmental Management," by having an EMS in place at all major DOE facilities by the end of 2005. Also, DOE recently updated DOE Order 450.1, which defines DOE's environmental protection program. The updated order implements Executive Order 13148 by requiring an EMS at DOE facilities as part of their integrated safety management systems.

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