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Environmental Science Center at Ft. Meade Meets International Environmental Standard -- First Civilian Non-Industrial Federal Facility ISO 14001 Certified

Release Date: 12/4/2002
Contact Information: Bonnie Smith (215) 814-5543

Contact: Bonnie Smith 215-814-5543
FORT MEADE, Md. – The Environmental Science Center at Ft. Meade has become the first EPA facility and the first non-industrial federal facility to be independently registered to ISO 14001, the international standard for Environmental Management Systems.

“Meeting the international standard for Environmental Management Systems shows that EPA practices what it preaches,” said Donald S. Welsh, EPA mid-Atlantic regional administrator.

An Environmental Management System involves reviewing facility operations and making choices to reduce negative and improve positive environmental impacts. An EMS goes beyond compliance, and looks at improving all aspects of the center, including water use, waste generation and chemical use. It is the highest certification possible for environmental management.

The Environmental Management System registration is the result of a two-year, facility-wide effort and exemplified EPA’s commitment to environmental stewardship.

As of Oct. 24, 2002, there were 40,970 certified facilities internationally and 2,040 registered facilities in the U.S. Eighteen of these ISO 14001 facilities are in U.S Department
of Defense, Department of Energy, and NASA facilities. The Environmental Science Center registration increases the public sector number to 19. The science center is the first non-industrial civilian federal facility in the country to achieve ISO 14001 certification.

An EMS can improve environmental performance and compliance, improved emergency preparedness and response, enhance employee morale, improve procedures and documentation, and financial savings.

At Fort Meade, EMS implementation has raised the level of awareness among staff and management about their environmental impacts, which has helped integrate environmental management into daily activities resulting in better overall environmental performance and reduced risk. The science center will work on measurable environmental improvements.

Two examples of projects that the center has implemented in connection with the EMS include reducing paper consumption and a strategy to ensure that only chemicals that are essential for operation are available on site and all unusable and expired chemicals are disposed of in a timely manner. These new initiatives are natural extensions of the efforts that have been underway at the science center to maximize the efficiency of the building with regard to environmental performance (e.g., water and electricity consumption).

Under the EMS, the center will get an increased return on its investment in pollution prevention, cost savings and creative environmental management practices. To learn more about Environmental Management Systems, see EPA’s website www.epa.gov/compliance/incentives/
ems/index.html.

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