Environmental Management Systems

Reclamation is committed to pollution prevention, compliance with environmental regulations and continual improvement of environmental performance.  Through the development of Environmental Management Systems (EMS) at appropriate organizations, Reclamation will take a more systematic approach in achieving its environmental goals and addressing the environmental impacts of its operations and activities. Reclamation's policy for Environmental Stewardship is available for viewing at http://www.usbr.gov/recman/env/env-P05.pdf.

What is EMS?

An EMS is a globally embraced management practice that allows an organization to strategically address its environmental impacts.  An EMS consists of standardized planning, implementing, measuring and reporting processes targeted to decrease liability, improve operational effiiciency, provide sound data for decisionmaking, and foster continuous improvement.  The framework for EMS implementation in Reclamation is based on the ISO 14001:2004(E) model of “Plan, Do, Check, Act.” 

Graphic of Process

Reclamation’s EMS is comprised of the following integrated components that lead to continual improvement in environmental performance:

  • Setting an environmental policy
  • Determining environmental aspects and impacts
  • Developing objectives and targets for compliance and continuous improvement
  • Assigning responsibility to achieve objectives
  • Identifying environmental training needs
  • Implementing and documenting operational controls
  • Ensuring appropriate contracts support EMS
  • Monitoring and evaluating EMS effectiveness and regulatory compliance
  • Facilitating conformance audits and management review

Upon meeting the above criteria and undergoing an independent EMS conformance audit, each appropriate organization will declare conformance with EMS. After declaration of conformance, each appropriate organization will ensure completion of a conformance audit every three years. 

Reclamation has identified its 5 Regions as the appropriate organizational level required to implement EMS.  Reclamation's regions have undergone independent conformance audits and each have declared conformance to Reclamation's EMS requirements.

See Frequently Asked Questions and Useful Links to learn more about EMS.

Last Updated: 1/23/19