Presentation on theme: "Determining the Significant Aspects"— Presentation transcript:
1 Determining the Significant Aspects EPA Regions 9 & 10andThe Federal Network for Sustainability
2 Objectives After this discussion, you should : Describe the importance of significant environmental aspects for your EMS.Describe factors to consider in evaluating the significance of environmental aspects and impacts.
4 DefinitionA significant environmental aspect is an environmental aspect that has or can have a significant environmental impact.Significance could be tied to:Environmental concernsNatural resource concernsRegulatory or legal exposureBusiness or mission concernsConcerns of interested parties
5 EMS RequirementsISO uses “significant” aspects and impacts as the basis for developing objectives and preparing programs.The facility determines which aspects and impacts are “significant.”The EMS must address all significant aspects.
6 Considerations for Determining Significance Legal and other requirementToxicityConsequence / MagnitudeRisk / LikelihoodSustainableOthers
7 Several Methods for Determining Significance Risk AssessmentDecision MatricesSignificance Set by Management
8 Risk AssessmentRisk assessment is a tool used by managers to provide information for decision making.Risk assessment may be formal or informal, but it is always there.
9 Risk Management Risk management addresses unacceptable risk. Residual risk is the unidentified risk plus any acceptable, identified risk remaining after risk management.
10 Characterizing Risk Exposure - How big of a problem is it? Global, regional, local?Severity - How bad will it get?Probability - How likely is it to occur?Daily, weekly, monthly, annually, in emergencies, only when a certain event happens, when a new project starts?
11 Risk AssessmentEstimate exposure, severity, and probability for each aspectPrepare relative rank for each aspectCompare ranking to determine significance
12 Risk Assessment Example AspectExposureSeverityProbabilityTotalVehicle exhaust42324Hazardous waste18Food waste6Not real data. Scale of 1 to 5 used with 1 being low and 5 high. Numbers were multiplied to give totals. No weighting factors used.
13 Decision MatricesA decision matrix is a tool used to quantify a risk assessmentIdentify key criteriaDetermine relative rankingEvaluate significance
14 Key Criteria for Significance Environmental impactHealth & safetyRegulatory or Executive Order requirementCostMission impactEnvironmental policy commitmentsCommunity impact
15 Decision Matrix Example AspectEnv.ImpH&SCost ofMissionComm.TotalChangeVehicle32-1138exhaustHazardous43-2229wasteFood11-1113wasteNational data. Scale of 1 to 5 used with 1 being low and 5 high. Numbers were added to give totals. No weighting factors used.
16 Significance May Be Defined by Management Environmental GoalsManagement Priorities
17 Determining Significance Risk Assessment and Decision Matrices are only suggestionsRefer to your agency’s risk management proceduresEstablish a procedure and stick with itMake a list of significant aspects and the impacts associated with them
18 Where Do Significant Aspects Fit in Your EMS? EMS manages your significant aspects, impactsObjectives and targets for your significant aspects shall be consideredEmployees need to be aware of significant environmental aspects of their jobsOrganizations shall consider processes for external communication of significant aspects and document decisionOrganization shall have procedures to monitor operations & activities that can have signif. impact(s)
19 SummarySignificant aspects are defined based on facility-specific criteriaA formal procedure is used to evaluate significancePreparing a list of significant aspects is a big part of an EMS
20 Exercise 4: Determining significant Aspects Use reproducible methodology; e.g., rank using a formula containing factors the organization considers importantPotential factorsseverityprobability/frequencyrisk (environmental/health/financial)toxicityexternal concernsability to control/influence/investigatedurationregulatory concern
21 Examples of Factor Ratings Severity5 Catastrophic4 High3 Moderate2 Low1 Slight0 Positive ImpactRegulatory ImportanceCurrent violationNon-compliance, past 3 yrsNon-compliance, past 5 yrs2 In compliance1 Below regulatory cut-off0 Unregulated
22 Examples of Factor Ratings Probability5 Certainty4 Likely3 So/So2 Unlikely1 Very unlikelyPotential for Increased Control5 High, with cost savings4 High at low cost3 Moderate2 Low1 Low and very costly
23 Example of Rating Scheme Significance =(Severity + RI + Prob) Control