Contractors And Suppliers
All contractors and/or suppliers working on behalf of Wastewater Services are required to follow environmental procedures outlined in the department's EMS.
All Wastewater Services contractors and suppliers whose activities have the potential to cause environmental harm are given the chance to receive EMS training. Training will inform contractors of all operational and emergency procedures to which they must comply.
Contractors and suppliers can expect to follow a number of environmental specifications while working on Wastewater Services' property. These include, but are not limited to:
- Reducing air emissions (i.e. minimizing vehicle idling time, and following procedures for proper use of chemicals to ensure emissions/odours are minimized)
- Reducing/eliminating environmental harm to nearby flora, fauna and sensitive habits (i.e. no equipment is to be cleaned in nearby waterways, and vegetation removal during construction must be kept to a minimum)
- Adhering to proper control of surface water during excavations to prevent surface water contamination (i.e. constructing settling ponds or sediment basins near construction areas)
- Contractors or suppliers working with chemicals must be trained appropriately on spill procedures and materials required for clean-up of any spills must be readily available on-site (i.e. spill kits).
For a complete listing of environmental specifications, refer to the ISO 14001 Contractors and Suppliers Environmental Performance Requirements package.
These provisions are included in all Wastewater Services contracts and are considered legal requirements. Any contractor and/or supplier not following the environmental provisions may be subject to legal action(s).
Environmental Management System
An Environmental Management System (EMS) is a structured framework to manage an organization's environmental performance and minimize its environmental impact. A Certified EMS ensures the public and other stakeholders that an organization is doing everything in its power to effectively manage their environmental responsibilities.
Some main components of our EMS include:
- Creating an Environmental Policy
- Identifying all legal requirements
- Environmental Objectives and Actions to minimize significant impacts
- Monitoring and auditing to ensure EMS compliance
- Allocating environmental roles and responsibilities
- Creating EMS documentation (guidelines) such as an EMS Policy and Procedure Manual, Operating Procedures Manuals, Emergency Response Procedures Manuals etc.
Benefits of an EMS
An EMS allows an organization to analyze, control and reduce the environmental impact of its activities, products and services. Some benefits also include:
- Improved environmental performance
- Pollution prevention and reduced resource consumption
- Reduced liability and improved legal compliance
- Reduced operational costs and increased operational efficiency
- Fewer environmental and safety related accidents
- Heightened employee environmental awareness and staff involvement
- Enhanced public trust and confidence in operations and management
- Improved management of population growth and aging facilities
The Regional District of Nanaimo's Wastewater Services Department was first ISO 14001 Certified in August 2005. The overall aim of ISO 14001 is to support environmental protection and prevent pollution in balance with socio-economic needs. ISO 14001 is an international EMS standard based on a model of continual improvement.
The Regional District of Nanaimo's (RDN) Wastewater Services (WWS) Environmental Policy reflects the values and priorities of the RDN's Board Strategic Plan 2016-2020, Regional Growth Strategy and Liquid Waste Management Plan.
The RDN's WWS is committed to providing reliable, high quality, and cost-effective wastewater services to the people and communities we serve. We strive to optimize our treatment and re-use processes and employ state-of the art pollution prevention strategies at our facilities. In fulfillment of this commitment, it is the WWS policy:
- To do our utmost to comply with the letter and spirit of relevant environmental laws and regulations. There shall be thorough and accurate measurement and reporting of our environmental compliance.
- To prevent pollution. This includes avoiding or reducing environmental pollution produced directly from WWS operations, or indirectly by the consumption of power, fuel, chemicals, and other resources.
- To identify and monitor environmental impacts and set measurable objectives and targets to reduce those impacts on the environment.
- To foster openness and dialogue with employees and the public, and respond to their concerns about potential hazards and impacts of our operations.
- To continually improve our performance relevant to this environmental policy.
This policy will be communicated regularly to all WWS staff and will be made available to regulatory agencies, the public, or other interested parties upon request.
General Manager, Regional and Community Utilities
Date: 11 October 2016