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Environmental management system to undergo audit

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Whitney Tucker
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
A team of 14 auditors is scheduled to conduct an environmental management system audit to evaluate how well the EMS has been implemented on Andersen, Aug. 31 through Sept. 9.

The EMS emerged in the early 1990s to provide organizations with a proactive, systematic approach for managing potential environmental consequences of operations. The EMS provides all Andersen organizations with a proactive, systematic approach for managing possible environmental risks to ensure mission and operational readiness.

"EMS provides a structured framework for identifying and evaluating environmental risk, determining how the mission may be affected by environmental impacts, organizing and managing significant environmental impacts and evaluating the effectiveness in achieving desired levels of environmental performance in support of mission and operational readiness," said Russ Grossley, 36th Civil Engineer Squadron chief of pollution prevention.

The Air Force EMS model adheres to a Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle that provides continuous program and project execution improvement. While the PDCA model maintains the rigor of the internationally proven standard, it also allows for a degree of flexibility to account for unique and significant military requirements.

"During the Plan phase of PDCA it is important to establish the objectives and processes necessary to deliver results in accordance with Andersen's environmental policy," Mr. Grossley said. "The next phase, Do, is all about implementing those processes. During the Check phase, you monitor and measure processes against base policy, objectives, targets, legal and other requirements and report the results. The last phase, Act, ensures actions to continually improve performance of the EMS are taken."

According to the Andersen Air Force Base Environmental Policy, environmental protection is a primary management responsibility as well as the responsibility of every worker and supplier. All workers, contractors and vendors are expected to understand and follow the requirements of Andersen's EMS.

"Every worker is responsible for environmental protection in the same manner as personnel and worker safety," said Brian Antolin, DZSP21 environmental compliance superintendent. "Understand your duties and execute them accordingly."

During the EMS audit, inspectors will visit various organizations on base. Individuals in each shop will be expected to be familiar with Andersen's EMS Policy, plans and checklists.

"The environmental policy must be posted in your shop," Mr. Antolin said. "It is your responsibility to read and understand the policy letter. At a minimum, you should know the policy commits you to pollution prevention, continual improvement and abiding by all rules, regulations and compliance requirements."

In addition to the EMS audit, the base will also be undergoing an environmental compliance inspection during this timeframe. It will cover hazardous waste operations, hazardous material management, air pollution, water quality and other environmental programs.

Team Andersen has always been on the forefront of environmental stewardship and we continually look for ways to protect the environment while enhancing the Air Force mission. This is our opportunity to showcase our environmental programs," said Joe Vinch, 36 CES Environmental Flight chief.

EMS is a base wide effort and everyone is responsible for its implementation. For questions, contact your unit environmental coordinator.