Region 7 EMS Earns Full Certification

The internal Environmental Management System (EMS) of U.S Environmental Protection Agency Region 7 has been certified in full conformance of internationally recognized standards for businesses and organizations, according to a March 4 press release.

The EMS is a set of processes and practices that guide the region's handling of its own environmental impacts and issues.

Representatives of ABS Quality Evaluations, an independent accreditation firm, informed Region 7 officials on Feb. 12 that the region had met all requirements of the International Organization for Standardization's 14001 EMS certification program.

Region 7's plan is one of only four in EPA to receive the certification, and the only one of the four to involve a multi-site certification. Region 7's EMS encompasses its headquarters facility and its Science and Technology Center, both in Kansas City, Kan.; as well as underground warehouse facilities and operations in the Hunt Midwest SubTropolis in Kansas City, Mo.

"Because we work for the federal agency responsible for protecting human health and the environment, we strongly believe in the importance of leading by example," Acting Regional Administrator William Rice said. "I'm very proud of the example set by our employees and of the hard work they've done to earn this special status. We intend to keep working hard to maintain it."

Through its EMS, Region 7 tracks and takes steps to adjust its consumption of fuels, energy, property, materials, and water; its releases, discharges, and emissions into air, land, and water; and its generation of wastes and recyclables. Related processes and practices extend to all Region 7 employees, on-site contractors, and grantees, and to employee commuting.

Region 7 took its first steps to implement an EMS plan more than two years ago. Official certification came after a series of independent audits in August and September 2008, and January 2009.

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