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'All' personnel affect environmental management systems

By Alex Salinas | Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Public Affairs | Aug. 15, 2012

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — One of the primary goals for Tiffany Evans, Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Environmental Management Systems coordinator, is to get base members familiar with EMS by improving communication. Based on results from her department's 2011 external Environmental, Safety and Occupational Health Compliance Assessment and Management Program, interviewees were not familiar with EMS, Evans said.

"EMS is how we manage our environmental aspects on the installation," she said. "It's more than just Air Force compliance; it's how we do business."

Randolph self-declared EMS conformance on Dec. 1, 2005, which Evans said initiated a "framework for continual program and process improvement through clearly defined environmental roles and responsibilities, planning requirements, budgeting, effective implementation and operation, and management review."

There are 17 elements that define EMS, categorized into four phases: plan, do, check and act.

Additionally, three significant aspects comprise EMS: energy conservation, chemical oxygen demand exceedances and the water treatment plant.

These aspects are essentially tied to everyone's work area on base, so everyone plays a role within the environmental management framework.

"All JBSA personnel impact the installation's EMS," Evans said. "Utilities are common resources that all of the base populace utilize. Simply cutting on lights, powering copy machines and running computers directly have an effect on one of our significant aspects: energy conservation."

In Randolph's case, under the guidance of Ruben Ramos, Randolph energy manager, energy conservation has been a large success.

Per Executive Order 13423, the Air Force was required to reduce its energy intensity - energy divided by square feet - from a 2003 baseline to 2012 by 30 percent, Ramos said.

"The reduction goal started in 2006 and a reduction of 3 percent per year is required until 2015," he said. "We are estimated a reduction between 12-15 percent for this year."

Altogether, Ramos said Randolph's energy program is saving the Air Force $222,000 using the current rate for gas compared to 2003; $92,000 using the current rate for electricity compared to 2003; and more than $115,000 annually for current capitalization energy projects.

Assisting the executive order is an Air Force Instruction as well.

AFI 32-7001 requires that all Air Force personnel and contractors know the environmental requirements that apply to their daily duties, are aware of the environmental policy and procedures of the management system, know their roles and responsibilities in achieving regulatory compliance and conformity with the requirements of the management system, and are aware of the installation's significant aspects.

"Our goal is to bring as much attention to EMS so that personnel are familiar with the concept when asked," Evans said.

Current EMS policy is summarized by the acronym SOAR: stop pollution, obey laws, always improve and reduce waste.

Part of Randolph's soaring to greater heights within environmental management is the ability for all CAC holders to access additional information on EMS on the eDASH website, https://eis.af.mil/cs/edash/aetc/randolph/default.aspx.

"The website is a one-stop shop for anybody in the environmental world," Evans said. "Whether you need to see a permit by-rule for a piece of air equipment or want to learn about one of our programs like Green Procurement, the site is continuously updated."

In upcoming months, Evans said all three JBSA operating bases are slated to transition into one JBSA eDASH website.

For more information about EMS, contact the environmental section at 652-4668.