MCALESTER, Okla., Oct. 18, 2011 -- After six years of sacrifice, hard work, and determination McAlester Army Ammunition Plant, or MCAAP, achieved the International Organization for Standardization ISO 14001:2004 for Environmental Management System, or EMS, certification, July 10, 2011. ISO 14001:2004 is an environmental management standard which specifies requirements for environmental management systems.

"The purpose of MCAAP's EMS is to manage the potential environmental consequences of an organization's activities, to protect the environment, to prevent pollution, and to improve environmental performance," said Sernanda Anderson, Environmental Management System management representative.

The decision to pursue ISO 14001:2004 certification required a commitment on the part of MCAAP's employees, tenants and third party contractors, she said. Anderson led a 25-member cross functional team who were essential in educating everyone and ensuring compliance with stringent environmental regulations and policies, she said.

The commitment to comply with regulations, prevent pollution, and pursue continuous improvement led to numerous benefits, Anderson said. Those benefits include improved environmental performance, obtaining a competitive advantage, new customer and market opportunities, greater employee awareness of environmental issues and responsibilities and better identification of areas where operational cost savings can be achieved.

The scope of MCAAP's certification was complex and included operations related to manufacturing; the load, assemble and pack of munitions for bombs; renovation; shipping, receiving and storage and maintenance and demilitarization of munitions.

"We were able to develop, with the assistance of a Minority College Relation Program student Blanchie Asberry and Patsy Wade, a member of our environmental office, a unique and dynamic aspect register," Anderson said. An aspect register lists activities, products or services that have an environmental impact like waste streams, gas, electric and water usage, transportation, oils and chemicals. Then a scoring system was developed to determine the severity of each impact."

"Our aspect register is applicable to the Army's 'fence-to-fence' requirement which includes operations that impact the environment from not only MCAAP but its tenants, the military and third party contractors," Anderson said. This involved more than 2,400 civilian, military, tenant and contractor employees and 2,500 buildings covering 45,000 acres.

McAlester Army Ammunition Plant is the Department of Defense's premier bomb and warhead loading facility and is one of 15 installations that belong to the Joint Munitions Command.