The EPA & U

Further, camp owners/managers will need to pay attention to new laws and regulations that will evolve concurrent with the approval of the EPA’s 2003-2008 Draft Strategic Plan. Following is a list of concepts regarding EPA compliance and practical steps camps can take to better manage camp practices.

Concept One: Environmental Policy (organizationally created by the EMS team). With the full commitment of the organization’s leadership and in accordance with the organization’s mission, the Environmental Policy identifies and defines the purpose of the Environmental Management System (EMS).

Specifically, the Environmental Policy should seek to foster active promotion of environmental values and actions that will sustain a healthy community.

Concept Two: Environmental Management System (EMS). Environmental Management Systems (EMSs) are used to identify and manage the impacts that organizational operations have on their environment.

The systems serve both to mitigate selected impacts that are currently regulated (assuring compliance with environmental laws and regulations), and may also provide the organization an opportunity to reduce impacts that are currently unregulated.

EMSs are a great idea for camps, because a lot of what camping is all about relies on the environment. Camps need to be interested in environmental protection, so an effective EMS will serve the camp in two ways… The camp will benefit directly from the EMS (internal benefit), and the EMS can also serve as a clear demonstration to the public of the camp’s commitment to the environment. Further, the EMS can help the camp by identifying the causes of environmental problems and assist with managing and/or eliminating the problems. Another way to look at an EMS is that your camp can save money and reduce negative impacts on the environment.

Steps to Compliance

1. Create an Environmental Management System Team.

Members of your EMS team could/should include the camp owner/manager, camp maintenance manager, food service manager, program manager (you may wish to choose a couple of additional representatives under programming, like the arts and crafts director, environmental or nature director), office manager and waterfront director.

2. Consider the initial EMS planning steps.

• Define the camp’s goals and define the project scope or fenceline.

• Secure management commitment. Management should also oversee that the goals for the EMS are consistent with the camp mission.

• Select an EMS champion — the person in your organization who will drive the process.

• Build an EMS Implementation Team (see comments above regarding the nature and makeup of the EMS Implementation Team).

• Hold a kick-off meeting where the team discusses the organization’s objectives and initial steps.

• Conduct a preliminary review of the camp’s compliance with EPA laws and regulations and environmental initiatives.

• Develop a project plan and schedule reviewed and approved by the camp owner/manager.

• Secure resources and assistance. There may be support from several outside sources available, such as your local EPA officials.

• Initiate employee involvement. The more employees involved in the process, the more the employees take ownership for the EMS.

• Monitor and communicate progress against the project plan.

3. Follow the “Key Elements of an EMS: A Snapshot”.

• Environmental policy — Develop a statement of your organization’s commitment to the environment. Use this policy as a framework for planning and action

• Environmental aspects — Identify environmental attributes of your products, activities and services. Determine those that could have significant impacts on the environment.

• Legal and other requirements — Identify and ensure access to relevant laws and regulations, as well as other requirements to which your organization adheres (see EPA Laws and Regulations, available on-line at www.epa.gov/epahome/lawregs.htm).

• Objectives and targets –- Establish environmental goals for your organization in line with your policy, environmental impacts (see the list below), the views of interested parties and other factors.

• Environmental management program –- Plan actions necessary to achieve your objectives and targets.

• Structure and responsibility –- Establish roles and responsibilities for environmental management and provide appropriate resources.

• Training, awareness and competence -– Ensure that your employees are trained and capable of carrying out their environmental responsibilities.

• Communication –- Establish processes for internal and external communications on environmental management issues.

• EMS documentation -– Maintain information on your EMS and related documents.

• Document control -– Ensure effective management of procedures and other system documents.

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