Environmental Managment Systems Training

6/18/2010
[PDF version]  [EMS Institute]

June 18, 2010

Dear Colleagues:

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is pleased to offer its third round of Environmental Management Systems (EMS) training and assistance for public transportation agencies.  FTA is offering this opportunity to eight to ten (8-10) providers of public transportation to receive assistance in implementing EMS.  Public and private entities that have integrated EMS into their operations report improved compliance with environmental regulations and enhanced support of environmental stewardship objectives.  EMS affects every aspect of an organization’s current and planned operations and produces environmental benefits such as energy conservation, efficient water use, vehicle emission reduction, materials recycling, and management of hazardous materials.  Organizations with EMS often report cost savings over time, improved bond ratings, reduced insurance premiums, and better community relations. 

FTA’s training is designed to help agencies develop and implement EMS, using the 14001 Standard of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) (http://www.iso.com/).  The 14001 Standard is a toolbox of management techniques to minimize harm to the environment. The 14001 Standard will serve as the basis of the EMS training, although it will be at the discretion of the agency whether to pursue ISO certification.  FTA will assemble a final report that includes the participating transit agencies’ case studies and will also assess training results.

The program will extend over a period of two years.  FTA will provide assistance in the form of training workshops, on-site technical support visits, electronic materials and resources, and consultation.  Participant agencies will be responsible for their staffs’ travel and accommodation costs for the workshops.  FTA will again employ the services of the Center for Organizational and Technological Advancement at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), located in Roanoke, Virginia.  The Environmental Protection Agency recognizes Virginia Tech as a Public Entity Environmental Management System Resource Center (PEER Center), http://www.peercenter.net/, specifically designed to aid local, county, and state entities that are considering implementing EMS.  Virginia Tech’s history working with FTA makes its program uniquely designed to meet the needs of transit agencies.

Application instructions and a brochure (www.cota.vt.edu/ems/fta) describing the training in detail are attached.  You may learn more about FTA’s EMS training at www.fta.dot.gov/EMS.

We are excited about continuing to partner with transit agencies in this environmental stewardship opportunity.  I hope that you will consider having your agency participate in this EMS program.  If you have any questions, please contact Antoinette Quagliata in the Office of Planning and Environment at (202) 366-4265 or Antoinette.Quagliata@dot.gov.

Sincerely yours,

/s/

Peter Rogoff

Attachments (2)

Application Instructions

Transit organizations interested in applying for this program should submit a letter of application by July 14, 2010 to:

Federal Transit Administration
Office of Planning and Environment
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, East 45-339
Washington, DC 20590 

This letter should be signed by the head of the public transportation organization and contain the following information:

1) A brief description of the transit organization and its responsibilities.
2) The name of a top management representative who will have the responsibility and the authority for ensuring that the Environmental Management Systems (EMS) is developed based on the program provided above.  This person should be available to travel and participate in workshops with other transit participants over the life of the project.
3) A clear assurance that top management in the organization will provide the necessary visibility, staff time, and other resources necessary to successfully develop and implement the EMS through an EMS implementation team.  Ongoing top management support is the most critical factor for ensuring a successful and sustainable EMS, and FTA is requesting that a top management representative attend EMS Worshop 1 in Roanoke along with their four-member minimum EMS team.

FTA will use a number of criteria to select participants, including:
# Organizational commitment by transit agency leadership to EMS implementation;
# Geographical diversity;
# Previous environmental experiences; and
# Environmental challenges from operations and/or pending capital projects.

Note that only eight to ten transit agencies will be selected to participate with preference given to those that have not previously participated in FTA’s EMS training and assistance.  Once all applications are received, FTA will conduct follow-up interviews with applicants meeting the aforementioned criteria to discuss the information contained in the letter of application in more detail and to obtain any other necessary information.  FTA may consult with the contractor before final decisions are made.  These final decisions will occur by August 2010, after which the contractor will work with each participant to schedule a site visit and the first program workshop in February 2011.