A team from the City of Oak Ridge will attend the Environmental and Sustainability Management System Workshops at the EMS Institute led by Virginia Tech in Roanoke, Virginia.  The City of Oak Ridge Environmental Management System (EMS) Core Team will travel to Roanoke for four three-day workshops. The first workshop will be held October 22-24, 2013. The remaining workshops will be January 28-30, 2014, April 29-May 1, 2014, and July 14-17, 2014. The EMS Core Team received one of six scholarships from the International City/County Management Association to attend these workshops.

The Environmental and Sustainability Management System is a set of management processes and procedures that allows an organization to analyze, control and reduce the environmental impact of its activities, products and services and operate with greater efficiency and control. ESMS Workshops will provide the City of Oak Ridge EMS Core Team with the tools to manage environmental impacts proficiently and help increase responsiveness.

The EMS Core Team will learn about the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14001, a voluntary international standard that establishes the requirements for an organization’s environmental management system (EMS). Some of the workshop benefits include:  reducing the number, type and severity of compliance incidents, improving relationships with state and federal regulators, recovering resources and reduce air, water and land emissions, Improving  employee awareness and efficiency of potential environmental impacts of work activities, providing proactive management systems for environmental issues, capturing institutional memory for standard operation procedures and best practices, increase management awareness of environmental and sustainability issues.

 “Learning about this standard will also help Oak Ridge on the Economic Development front as this standard is frequently becoming a matter of interest, particularly to international companies, “said City Manager Mark Watson.  “This is a great opportunity for the City of Oak Ridge to examine our environmental impact and learn how to decrease that impact. After receiving the TVA Valley Sustainable Community Platinum Rating, we want to continue our commitment to reduce emissions and develop new objectives and goals for our future.”

The EMS Core Team consists of five city employees: the City Manager Mark Watson; Electrical Project Manager Ardo Ba; Community Development Specialist Athanasia Senecal Lewis; Assistant Fire of Training and Fire Prevention Chief Josh Waldo and Housing Remediation Specialist Matthew Widner.

For further information, visit www.cota.vt.edu/ems/programs/ems.html or www.oakridgetn.gov.

News media contact: Candice Brogan at (865) 425-3546 or cbrogan@oakridgetn.gov.