Implementing ISO 14001 EMS – working backward from 11 city departments to a water utility at the City of Dallas

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The City of Dallas committed to implementing a performance based ISO 14001:2004 certified EMS in less than 3 years across its major operations. Typical EMS models establish an EMS at a single facility such as a wastewater treatment plant that grows within and throughout the governmental organization. However, due to the size and scope of the system, the City of Dallas used a different approach. The EMS was implemented by working backward from the City Manager’s Office to eleven City departments. The goal of the EMS for the City Manager’s Office was to improve compliance with environmental regulations, organize and advance environmental initiatives, and provide a frequent reporting mechanism to the City Manager on the status of environmental issues.

Dallas Water Utilities (DWU) servicing a population of 2.3 million with two wastewater treatment plants and three water treatment plants was in the departmental scope of this City wide EMS. The system was based on a 5-step implementation model: pre-plan, plan, do, check, and act.

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