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Environmental Management System (EMS)

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Environmental Services

The Environmental Management System (EMS) has been updated to reflect the structure of the new MassDOT Highway Division (formerly MassHighway, Massachusetts Turnpike Authority and certain Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation parkways and bridges). The new EMS also has an expanded fence line to include maintenance activities on Highways and Bridges. MassDOT Highway Division continues to use its nationally recognized model of a Compliance Focused EMS. This model is recognized by the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO), and the National Academy of Science, Transportation Research Board as a valuable tool for maintaining compliance with state and Federal regulations and DOT adopted best management practices using the classic Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle.

The EMS relies on the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle; Plan to conduct an activity, Do the activity, Check to see if the activity is running as planned, and Act to make corrections that will improve the results of the activity. This cycle and the awareness to roles and responsibilities is the foundation for maintaining regulatory compliance. The EMS and Sustainability Unit is responsible for keeping the EMS current with changing activities and environmental regulations. Listed below are the components of the EMS found in Section II of the Manual.

Funding: Identifies the process and responsibilities for allocating adequate funding for environmental compliance at maintenance facilities.

Environmental Requirements: Discusses the environmental laws and regulations that apply to operations at maintenance facilities, and the procedures for identifying proposed and new regulatory changes that affect these operations.

Emergency Preparedness: Identifies the procedures for planning and responding to spills at maintenance facilities. (Link to the Emergency Response Spill Plan)

Standard Operating Procedures: Describes the methods for identifying the need for environmental standard operating procedures (SOPs) as well as the development, review, revision and, endorsement of environmental SOPs to guide facility staff in the proper conduct of facility operations.

Facility Handbook and Maps: Are readily available reference tools located at all District Headquarters, maintenance facilities, Boston Operations and Environmental to support the EMS,. The Handbook contains descriptive text on regulatory programs, copies of the Environmental SOPs and the Emergency Response Spill Plan.

Training: Documents the procedures for planning, delivering and tracking environmental compliance and EMS training of personnel.

Compliance Tracking: Defines the procedure to identify, correct, and track facility compliance issues.

Self-Auditing: Describes the in-house audit program procedures for evaluating the status and return to environmental compliance at maintenance facilities. We also use the DEP Policy on Incentives For Self-Policing: Environmental Self Audit Policy Addendum for State Agencies; Policy ENF-05-001 to frame our corrective action timelines.

Pollution Prevention: Describes the initiatives to prevent pollution through conservation and source reduction.

EMS Review and Evaluation: Describes the procedures and schedules for review and update of the EMS.

The EMS encourages and requires communication and coordination amongst personnel and program areas targeting compliance with regulations in the areas of: Hazardous Waste, Wetland Resources, Hazardous Materials, Tanks, Water Quality, Solid Waste, and Asbestos. We also conduct annual environmental awareness training using the Facility Environmental Handbook for facility personnel, an inspection program that identifies issues needing correction on a routine basis and, a more formal self-audit program using the Self-Audit Protocol Fieldbook, that documents the methods used in tracking and reporting on compliance issues.

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