By Rebecca Montgomery, Joint Munitions Command Public AffairsFebruary 2, 2010
ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. - The Joint Munitions Command's five year journey to reach its Environmental Management System goals means kudos to its installations because they took an active role in getting there.
The JMC's installations met the International Organization for Standardization 14001:2004 requirement by its December 2009 deadline in accordance with Executive Order 13423 and Army policy. The ISO standard provides guidance on a management system that minimizes harmful effects on the environment.
"The bottom line is we're here to help sustain pollution prevention and environmental methods. We want to collaborate with the installations and we're here to support them," said Kevin Tiemeier, general environmental engineer in JMC's Installation Support Directorate.
According to Tiemeier, the JMC's help in improving installations' practices has been well received.
"Even though the installation commanders have this certification, they don't want this to end. They want us back to continue to sustain and educate," he said.
With the help of Corrpro, the contractor that tracked metrics for each installation and provided EMS training and guidance, the JMC met all of the EMS elements and can now declare conformancy to the ISO 14001:2004 standard.
"Initially we did a gap analysis and compared what the standard requires with what the installations were doing. The installations had to train their employees so they would understand what was required by the ISO 14001," said Sally Gaines of Corrpro.
The installations are trained in EMS so they understand they're all part of the process and help figure problems out, Tiemeier added.
"Every individual at the installations has to come to understand they had an environmental responsibility," said Gaines.
Environmental regulators have primacy over the JMC's environmental processes and have the legal statutory authority to shut down facilities that are not environmentally compliant, Tiemeier explained.
"Regulators know about the 14001 system so they've got a comfort level that we're going above and beyond minimum requirements. Regulators endorse and believe in the process," Gaines added.
Tiemeier noted that environmental regulations are important - - what's being emitted to the air and what's being discharged to the rivers and soil.
"We know if a spill goes into an aquifer there are risk factors. Therefore, we have to take action to control the situation with the best preventative practices we can," he said.
Gaines emphasized the importance of avoiding complacency and stopping old harmful practices.
"We continue to work on being able to dispose of things a different way or put them through a new process to be able to re-use them," she said.
Tiemeier is especially proud of the way Blue Grass Army Depot, Richmond, Ky., improved its environmental practices in the use of chemical resistant agent coating, or CARC, paint. "Here's something that was an issue, but now they're a center of excellence," he said.
The installation's workers were not following a standard operating procedure and were not adequately trained in painting techniques; this caused them to use extra paint and generate more waste.
"We identified a liability, provided training, and got the correct equipment. The installation, through its leadership, turned this around in less than a year." said Tiemeier.
Tiemeier emphasized the importance of integrated practices throughout the installations. "EMS has to include everybody who comes through the gate including tenants - - everything has to adhere to environmental prevention," he said.
Tiemeier is confident about sustaining the JMC's environmental gains.
"We're making processes that are not just environmentally compliant, but Soldier ready. There is no way we can provide ammo to the troops and be Soldier ready without that," Tiemeier said.