Teaching a new dog old tricks: the synergy of ISO 14000, NEPA, and integrated ES{ampersand}H management

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For more than twenty-five years, federal agencies have wrestled with (and even learned from) the planning and decision making processes of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Accordingly, agencies have developed established processes for environmental planning, impact assessment,and environmental-based decision making. Agencies are now faced with an opportunity to align existing environmental planning systems developed under NEPA with those of ISO 14001, the new international standard for environmental management systems. Through experience gained with NEPA, agencies may have an opportunity to assist the private sector through sharing of lessons learned in identification and mitigation of environmental aspects and impacts. However, ... continued below

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18 p.

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Wilkinson, C.H. March 1, 1997.

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For more than twenty-five years, federal agencies have wrestled with (and even learned from) the planning and decision making processes of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Accordingly, agencies have developed established processes for environmental planning, impact assessment,and environmental-based decision making. Agencies are now faced with an opportunity to align existing environmental planning systems developed under NEPA with those of ISO 14001, the new international standard for environmental management systems. Through experience gained with NEPA, agencies may have an opportunity to assist the private sector through sharing of lessons learned in identification and mitigation of environmental aspects and impacts. However, agencies should also learn from the private sector how integrated environmental management includes integrating environment, safety, and health (ES&H) considerations in such away as to add direct value to the business. In times of continued and increasing federal agency downsizing, the government can streamline ES&H management planning by integrating ES&H values with business goals. The first synergy of NEPA and ISO 14001 is the identification and assessment of environmental impacts. Under IS0 14001,an organization must identify the `environmental aspects of its activities, products or services`. This is similar to the approach taken in NEPA where agencies must evaluate significant environmental impacts of its actions. The second synergy is the reduction and mitigation of the impacts. IS0 14001 requires a commitment to prevention of pollution and the NEPA process integrates pollution prevention with environmental planning. IS0 14001 requires checking and corrective action to monitor and measure progress toward environmental goals. NEPA applies mitigation measures to avoid or mitigate potential impacts. Because agencies have been conducting NEPA impact assessment for more than twenty-five years, this body of impact assessment experience can provide valuable knowledge to the private sector where environmental impact analysis is a new approach for some industries. One of the IS0 14000 series of standards actually states that impact assessment is still in its infancy. Therefore, NEPA analysts may be able to provide established impact assessment techniques to industry. However, Federal ES&H managers must learn from the private sector by using the integrated environmental management system as a corporate tool to tie agency objectives with environmental goals. In a time of increasing federal downsizing,the ES&H professional must become smarter about how their service adds to the agency goals and makes the most of the taxpayer`s dollar. Integrating ES&H management in such a way that business goals are met is the way of the future in both the public and private sector.

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18 p.

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OSTI as DE98052070

Other: FDE: PDF; PL:

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  • 22. annual conference of the National Association of Environmental Professionals, Orlando, FL (United States), 19-23 May 1997

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  • Other: DE98052070
  • Report No.: UCRL-JC--127236
  • Report No.: CONF-9705100--
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 611783
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc694467

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • March 1, 1997

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Aug. 14, 2015, 8:43 a.m.

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  • April 10, 2017, 2:24 p.m.

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Wilkinson, C.H. Teaching a new dog old tricks: the synergy of ISO 14000, NEPA, and integrated ES{ampersand}H management, article, March 1, 1997; California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc694467/: accessed December 15, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.