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The American Public Works Association (APWA) and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) are pleased to announce a cooperative agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Office of Wastewater Management to conduct education and outreach on Environmental Management Systems (EMS).
"APWA is delighted to be partnering with ICMA and EPA to promote sound environmental stewardship through EMS," said Peter King, APWA Executive Director. "Unlike other approaches to environmental protection, an EMS has long-lasting, sustainable impacts for a broad range of interested parties including local governments, and other public agencies, as well as tax-payers."
An EMS 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. Any public agency can implement an EMS and many are doing so now. The benefits accruing to agencies with an EMS in place include cost savings in their operations, more efficient operations, improved relationships with regulators, increased environmental awareness among the public served, and better communication about environmental issues.
"As the environmental liabilities of local governments increase, it's more important than ever that jurisdictions have management tools in place to meet their regulatory requirements," stated Robert J. O'Neill, Jr., Executive Director of the International City/County Management Association. "Environmental Management Systems (EMSs) provide a tool for local government facilities to boost efficiency, reduce costs, improve bond ratings, and meet state and federal standards."
Over the next several months, APWA and ICMA will host a series of technical workshops across the country. These workshops will help city managers and public works professionals learn more about EMSs and their benefits. The two organizations will develop a national web cast, as well as other products and outreach events that promote environmental stewardship and protection through Environmental Management Systems.