Original Date: 07/10/2006
Revision Date: / /
Best Practice : Environmental Management System
Tobyhanna Army Depot has transitioned its environmental program into a robust environmental management system program that meets the ISO 14001:2004 Environmental Standard, contributing to a formidable reduction in pollution sources.
In the mid-1980s Tobyhanna Army Depot (TYAD) generated a sizable amount of hazardous waste that included 150 different waste streams from 18 different shops within depot operations and its nine tenant activities. Management recognized that a reduction in the generation of these wastes was key to the facility’s future competitiveness and operation.
A concerted plan of action was initiated to make improvements in the Environmental Management Program. ISO 14001 certification was viewed as a means to providing a competitive edge. Management buy-in was achieved, a gap analysis was performed, and the Environmental Management System (EMS) Manual was developed. The TYAD Commander’s Policy introduced four key elements – prevent pollution, minimize impact, environmental compliance, and continuous improvement. An employee awareness campaign was implemented, and internal auditors from the Environmental Management Division, the Quality Management Division, and ISO 14001 directorate representatives were then trained in the ISO 14001 Standard.
In 2003 ISO 14001 was achieved, with recertification achieved in 2006. TYAD follows the ISO prescriptive and strives for continuous improvement, maintains document control, conducts quarterly program reviews, maintains all requisite records, and conducts management reviews to ensure compliance to the ISO 14001 Standard. All supervisors have ISO 14001 requirements in their rating standards. A corrective/preventive action program was developed consisting of notice of deficiencies (NODs) and corrective action requests (CARs). NODs are used to document environmental deficiencies and CARs are used to identify violations of the EMS Manual. Follow-up and reporting to the commanding officer and directors is accomplished using a scorecard.
Lean and Six Sigma initiatives are also being implemented at TYAD. As a result of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, new energy management goals have been established. Areas being studied for further consideration include windmills and geothermal and solar power. TYAD is the first federal facility to join the National Pollution Prevention Partnership, a voluntary effort to target persistent bioaccumulative and toxic materials for reduction elimination. TYAD is targeting lead and cadmium under this initiative. Since 1990 many additional improvements and annual reductions have been identified and achieved in different pollution prevention projects (Figure 2-3).
Recycling revenue has increased from $100,000 in FY2001 to $375,000 in FY2005. Refuse removal cost avoidance showed a savings of $58,000 in FY2001 and a savings of $138,000 in FY2005. A significant reduction in pollutants emitted was seen in 2005, with a total of 79 tons versus 331 tons in 2000. Class I ozone-depleting substances were eliminated and the use of underground storage tanks decreased from >100 to 4. The savings realized by the pollution prevent projects indicate TYAD is effectively using continuous improvement tools to enhance the competitiveness of the depot’s operations.
Figure 2-3. Pollution Prevention Projects – Continuous Benefits
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