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Integration of the National Environmental Policy Act into a Comprehensive Environmental Management System: The Tennessee Valley Authority Experience

  • Jon M. Loney (a1), Harold M. Draper III (a1), Linda B. Shipp (a1), Charles P. Nicholson (a1) and Madonna E. Martin (a1)...

Abstract

In early 2002, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) completed a revision of its Environmental Management System (EMS). The new EMS is designed to fully align with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14001 EMS standards. The EMS incorporated a new Environmental Review Process as an integral component. It established clear roles and responsibilities for the agency NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) staff and organizations across TVA, introduced process improvements and standardization measures, and made structural changes to bring about increased efficiency and effectiveness in NEPA reviews. The NEPA process was further strengthened by its integration into the revised comprehensive EMS. A new Environmental Policy and Principles was adopted that reestablished the TVA commitments to environmental protection and stewardship, to assess and minimize the effects of TVA operations on the environment, and to involve the public. An Achievement Plan was developed to assure that TVA meets its corporate environmental commitment; that plan recognized the EMS as the principal tool for achieving that goal. Corporate environmental objectives and targets were established, and new methods to measure the overall environmental performance of TVA were introduced. Significantly, the NEPA process was directly linked to other EMS processes, including those for environmental training, communication and stakeholder involvement, records management, environmental auditing, corrective and preventive action, performance monitoring and reporting, and management review. These systematic linkages work together to reinforce all aspects of NEPA performance and to provide improved environmental compliance, cost savings in environmental management programs, and measurable improvements in achievement of TVA environmental objectives. The TVA experience, which takes an agency-wide rather than a facility-based approach to EMS development, may offer insights and an alternative strategy to other agencies addressing NEPA/EMS implementation issues.

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Tennessee Valley Authority, 400 West Summit Hill Drive, Knoxville, TN 37902; (fax) 865-632-6855; (e-mail) jmloney@tva.gov

Integration of the National Environmental Policy Act into a Comprehensive Environmental Management System: The Tennessee Valley Authority Experience

  • Jon M. Loney (a1), Harold M. Draper III (a1), Linda B. Shipp (a1), Charles P. Nicholson (a1) and Madonna E. Martin (a1)...

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