Maryland Businesses Can Get Free Environmental Management System Implementation Assistance

Press Release

Maryland Department of the Environment
Media Contact:
Jim Pettit
(410) 537-3003

Richard McIntire
(410) 537-3012
(410) 716-8784-Pager

Maryland Businesses Can Get Free Environmental Management System Implementation Assistance

BALTIMORE, MD (July 24, 2003) – The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and Maryland Technology Extension Service (MTES) are offering an intensive Environmental Management System (EMS) Implementation Program to Maryland companies. The course is scheduled to begin in October and enrollment is limited to five businesses. There is no cost for participation.

The MDE/MTES program assists manufacturing organizations in implementing Environmental Management Systems based on the international ISO 14001 standard. Four, two-day workshop sessions, spaced six weeks apart, are followed by specific work assignments and individual meetings with the program facilitator. Program participants will also be offered technical assistance in implementing cost-saving pollution prevention practices and technologies. The implementation phases are designed so that the organization puts the environmental management system in place at a pace that is manageable and that delivers measurable results from the outset.

Environmental Management Systems help organizations systematically identify, measure and manage their environmental impacts. Among some of the benefits of implementing these systems are improved communications; improved efficiency; reduced costs; and increased consistency of results. The system also helps to overcome barriers to organizational change; increases top management participation and involvement in day-to-day activities; and helps to resolve and prioritize organizational issues.

Organizations that have implemented EMSs have noted improvements in their environmental regulatory compliance; environmental awareness, involvement, and competency throughout the organization; and in their relationships with environmental regulators.

Eighteen Maryland manufacturers have participated in the MDE/MTES EMS program. To date, five of the companies have chosen to go forward with the ISO 14001 registration process and all five have successfully registered. “Environmental Management Systems represent the future of environmental management and we are pleased to be able to offer this valuable program to Maryland businesses,” said MDE Acting Secretary Kendl P. Philbrick. “The program has created a successful framework for government to work in concert with the regulated community.”

MTES is the University of Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute’s principal program for extending university expertise directly to industry. It is an affiliate of the NIST - Manufacturing Extension Partnership program and is the main contact point for providing University of Maryland faculty expertise to Maryland companies.

MTES’s EMS workshop facilitator and implementation assistance provider have participated in the development of the ISO documents and provided ISO 14001-based training since 1994. MTES’s technical assistance provider has 30 years of experience in engineering and project management in complex manufacturing and industrial environments.

There is no charge for participating in this program. Grant funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provides for all costs of instruction, materials and technical assistance for implementation. Participating organizations are encouraged to send three or more persons to the training workshops and are asked to make a commitment to completing the workshop program.

For more information, call or e-mail Laura Armstrong at (410) 537-4119, Laura.Armstrong@maryland.gov, Paul Gietka at (301) 405-8593, pg26@umail.umd.edu, or Jim Schaarsmith at (703) 465-0415, jschaarsmith@erols.com.



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