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U.S. Geological Survey Manual

U.S. Geological Survey Instructional Memorandum

No.: APS 2009-03

Issuance Date: January 5, 2009

Expiration Date:  Retain Until Superseded

Subject: Environmental Management Systems

1.  Purpose.  This Instructional Memorandum (IM) provides interim guidance on U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) environmental policy and implementation of USGS environmental program objectives through Environmental Management Systems (EMS).

2.  Scope.  This IM applies to all USGS employees, programs, and facilities nationwide.  

3.  Authority.  The chief authorities governing EMS are Executive Order (EO) No. 13423 of January 24, 2007, Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management; Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Implementing Instructions and Requirements for EO 13423, dated March 29, 2007; and Departmental Manual Chapter 515 DM 4, Environmental Management Systems, dated August 13, 2008.

4.  Policy.  It is USGS policy to conduct its science and other activities in keeping with responsible stewardship of the environment and in compliance with applicable environmental laws and regulations.  The USGS will employ EMS as the primary management approach for implementing Bureau environmental program objectives.

5.  Definitions.  515 DM 4 defines the terms that apply to EMS.  For ease of reference and for the purposes of this IM, EMS is defined as a planning tool that helps an organization achieve its environmental compliance obligations and broaden its environmental performance goals by properly managing its operations and activities.  It is not a stand-alone environmental program or a data management system or program, but links existing and new organizational responsibilities, programs, and activities.  The EMS model of “Plan, Do, Check, Act” reflects accepted quality management principles and provides rigor to existing operations and programs to further ensure continual improvement, as found in the ISO 14001:2004(E) standard.  The true benefit of the EMS model is that it ensures existing or new programs closely link an organization’s environmental and energy footprint with legal and other requirements.  EMS activities include planning, training, monitoring and measuring, and reporting.  In addition, senior management plays an active role in evaluating status and progress and making decisions for continual improvement.  An EMS does not guarantee environmental compliance, but provides the framework and tools to achieve and sustain compliance, thereby reducing liability.

Sustainable practices are actions contributing to the condition of being “sustainable.”  Examples of sustainable practices can include, but not limited to, environmental purchasing, resource conservation, pollution prevention, toxics reduction, practices to reduce or control emissions of greenhouse gases, electronic stewardship, sustainable construction and buildings, water and energy conservation, renewable energy and resources, and recycling.

6.  Responsibilities.
A.  Associate Director for Administrative Policy and Services.  Serves as the USGS senior official for EMS implementation and exercises executive oversight of the Bureau EMS program. 
B.  Chief, Office of Management Services.  

(1)  Develops Bureau EMS plans, sets goals, collects data, establishes environmental performance metrics (e.g., the percentage of USGS employees who successfully complete the EMS General Awareness Training), collects performance and other data, measures progress against established benchmarks, and prepares DOI required EMS reports.

(2)  Represents the USGS on EMS matters before the Department and other parties.

(3)  Seeks the advice of the USGS Environmental Management Council and other parties in formulating EMS implementation efforts, gathering and sharing best environmental practices, and promoting the realization of EMS objectives.

(4)  As the USGS Facilities Program Coordinator, ensures that EMS objectives are integrated, wherever practicable, into Bureau real property asset management oversight measures and applies existing facility planning mechanisms such as the Site-Specific Asset Business Plans toward this end.

(5)  Establishes the qualifications for, and selects, independent auditors tapped by the USGS to assure and declare EMS conformance with prescribed departmental, Bureau, and other standards.

(6)  Issues procedures, templates, schedules, and other instructions necessary to implement the provisions of this IM.

(7)  Develops mandatory EMS training for employees and others who require it, and establishes appropriate notifications and tracking to ensure that the training is accomplished.

(8)  Performs the responsibilities listed in section 6.C. below for the USGS National Center.

C.  Regional Directors.

(1)  Conduct mission operations and operate real and personal property assets in a manner that assures responsible stewardship of the environment and compliance with applicable environmental laws and regulations.

(2)  Identify, manage, and improve environmental performance (including compliance with all applicable Federal, State, and local environmental regulations and sustainable practices), prepare region-wide EMS, and, where warranted, develop a center-specific EMS (also defined as “EMS Appropriate Facility”) in accordance with the instructions issued by the Chief, Office of Management Services. 

(3)  Continually assess mission program and real and personal property asset needs to reduce their environmental footprint.

(4)  Take proactive actions to reduce energy and water consumption, recycle, and otherwise adopt best environmental practices as defined in section 5 above.  

 (5)  Consult with the Associate Directors who operate national capability facilities to ensure that national science program needs are integrated into the EMS prescribed under section 6.C.(2) above.


___/s Karen D. Baker______________                    _____January 5, 2009___
Karen D. Baker                                                                       Date
Associate Director for Administrative Policy and Services

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