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ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems, An Operations Perspective

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The Yonkers Joint Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) is the largest of seven WWTPs operated by the Westchester Department of Environmental Facilities (DEF). The plant has a rated capacity of 90 million gallons per day (MGD) and discharges into the Hudson River immediately north of New York City. The Yonkers facility is the largest facility managed with the largest workforce and the greatest operational complexity of the seven facilities and for this reason was chosen to pilot an ISO 14001 environmental management system which will eventually include all of the wastewater treatment, water supply, and solid waste and recycling operations of DEF. Four years after certification, the management system is deeply embedded in the operations at Yonkers and has provided many of the anticipated benefits and in some cases some unexpected results. This paper will examine some of the processes and tools that have been implemented within the EMS and the effects on the organization and its functioning from an operations viewpoint. Examples drawn from actual experience will be used to illustrate the impact on plant operations.
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Keywords: Best Management Practice; Environmental Management System (EMS); ISO14001; Operations Management

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-01-01

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