EPA is carrying out a number of program involving
EMSs. Many of EPA's activities are described in the EPA's EMS Action Plan. A number of these
programs include technical assistance and recognition
Compliance Assistance Program provides assistance to States,
tribes, municipalities, citizens, and the regulated community. This
includes working with EPA program offices to develop plain language
regulations and compliance assistance tools (such as the Compliance
Assistance Clearinghouse and the Environmental Management
Application Matrix); developing flexible compliance policies that
encourage the use of compliance/technical assistance programs;
promoting pollution prevention innovative technology and providing
compliance monitoring assistance. The Compliance Assistance
Clearinghouse contains over 120 records of contacts, tools,
policies and other items of interest all dealing with EMSs).
- The Design for Environment
Program partners with stakeholders to help businesses help the
environment. DfE projects help businesses design products,
processes, and management systems that are cost-effective, cleaner,
and safer for workers and the public. The DfE goals are to
encourage businesses to incorporate environmental information into
their decision criteria, and effect behavior change to facilitate
continuous environmental improvement. To accomplish these goals DfE
and its partners use several approaches including cleaner
technology and life-cycle assessments, environmental management
systems, formulation improvement, best practices, and green supply
chain initiatives. To date, the DfE Program has brought
environmental leadership to over 2 million workers at over 170,000
facilities. Small- and medium-sized businesses recognize DfE as a
unique source of reliable environmental (as well as performance and
Design for Environment (DFE) Guide: Integrated Environmental Management Systems (IEMS) Implementation Guide. This Guide has been designed to help companies integrate environmental concerns into business decision making using the Design for Environment Program's Integrated Environmental Management System. The Design for the Environment Program involves voluntary partnerships with industry and other stakeholders to develop cleaner, safer alternatives to existing products and processes.
- EPA Region
1 EMS work includes state EMS pilots, a municipality EMS pilot,
EMR reviews for federal facilities, development of an
eco-industrial park, and development of enforcement settlements
- EPA Region
9 is involved in a series of pilot projects to evaluate the
impacts of EMSs, including work with the metal finishing industry
and small businesses such as industrial laundries.
- The Office of the Small
Business Ombudsman and Small Business Division serves as a
conduit for small businesses to access EPA and facilitates
communications between the small business community, including
national trade associations, and the Agency. The Office reviews and
resolves disputes with EPA, promotes understanding of Agency policy
and small business needs and concerns, and distributes regulatory
and technical assistance information.
- The Office of
Water is involved in a number of EMS activities including a
pilot with the Global Environmental Technology Foundation with
local governments (Environmental Management System Pilot Program for Local Government Entities), initiatives with agricultural sectors such as
the egg producers, research (with others) on the effects of EMSs,
and work on guidance such as the SME Guide.
- The Public Entity Environmental Management System Resource (PEER) Center funded by EPA's Office of Water through a grant to the Global Environment and Technology Foundation, is a one-stop shop for EMS information and resources for public entities. While the Web site is intended for public entities, it should be useful for any organization developing and implementing an EMS.
- The National Environmental Performance Track Program was established by EPA in June 2000 to recognize and reward companies and public entities that consistently exceed regulatory requirements, work closely with their community, and excel in protecting the environment and public health. Facilities across the nation, of all types and sizes, have successfully qualified for membership in Performance Track. To join, an organization needs to demonstrate that it has: a proven record of regulatory compliance; a commitment to continuous improvement; a mechanism for public outreach; and an Environmental Management System.
- As a part of this effort, the Performance
Track Assistance Program is working with trade associations and others to help trade associations work with their members to develop EMSs and take other steps to meet the requirements of the Performance Track Program. Activities include development of tools to assist trade associations in developing EMS guidance for their members, optional review of association guidance documents to ensure conformance with Performance Track EMS criteria, assistance in the revision of these guidelines, development of EMS marketing materials, and revision of the EMS Web site.
- The Pollution Prevention Program deals with a variety of issues
including reducing risks from highly toxic substances that build up
to significant levels in food chains; promoting environmentally
preferable purchasing and labeling; facilitating changes in finance
and business management; the Design for Environment (referenced
above) and Green Chemistry Industry Partnerships; and pollution
prevention grants to promote pollution prevention at the state,
tribal and local level. Some of this funding is used to support the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange, a national network of regional centers dedicated to improving the dissemination of pollution prevention information in the service provider community. Information accessed through the Exchange may be useful to those developing/implementing an EMS.
- The Pollution Prevention Information Clearinghouse (PPIC) is a free, nonregulatory service of the U.S EPA dedicated to reducing or eliminating industrial pollutants through technology transfer, education, and public awareness. In addition to information regarding available P2 documents, references, and conferences, the PPIC can also answer questions about pollution prevention or refer you to appropriate contacts for additional information. P2 information obtained through the PPIC can be very useful in developing/implementing an EMS.
- Industry Sector Performance Program will partner with EPA programs and regions, states, and select trade associations to craft solutions to sector-specific problems. The program will consist of the following elements:
- Sector point-of-contact
OPEI staff will serve as liaisons for the sectors, developing expertise in the environmental operations and concerns of each industry. Staff points-of-contact will assemble informal cross-EPA teams to help plan and implement initiatives with each sector.
- Promoting environmental management systems
Sector teams will work with trade associations to develop a strategic plan for delivering needed outreach, training resources, and support to build a 'business case' for EMS.
- Overcoming regulatory or other barriers to performance improvement
Sector teams will work with trade associations, states, and interested public groups to address the most significant impediments to better industry-wide performance. Regulatory or permit changes may be accompanied by compliance and technical assistance.
- Performance measurement
Sector teams will explore creative ways to measure and report industry-wide environmental and economic progress using performance indicators, success stories, and other tools.