Press Release

BALTIMORE, MD (December 19, 2005) -- The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and Maryland Technology Extension Service (MTES) are offering the Environmental Management System (EMS) Implementation Assistance Program again this winter for Maryland companies. The course is scheduled to begin February 1, 2006. Only five businesses may enroll in the program and there is no cost for participation.

The MDE/MTES program assists manufacturing organizations in implementing environmental management systems based on the international ISO 14001 standard. Four one-day workshop sessions, spaced six weeks apart, are followed by specific work assignments and individual meetings with the program facilitator. Program participants are also offered technical assistance in implementing cost-saving pollution prevention practices and technologies. The implementation phases are designed so that the organization puts the environmental management system in place at a pace that is manageable and that delivers measurable results from the outset.

Environmental management systems help organizations systematically identify, measure and manage their environmental impacts. Among some of the benefits of implementing these systems are improved communications; improved efficiency; reduced costs; and increased consistency of results. The system also helps to overcome barriers to organizational change; increases top management participation and involvement in day-to-day activities; and helps to resolve and prioritize organizational issues.

Organizations that have implemented EMSs have noted improvements in their environmental regulatory compliance; environmental awareness, involvement, and competency throughout their organization; and in their relationships with environmental regulators.

Twenty-eight Maryland manufacturers have participated in the MDE/MTES EMS program. To date, eight of the companies have chosen to go forward with the ISO 14001 registration process and all have been successful.

There is no charge for participating in this program. Grant funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provides for all costs of instruction, materials and technical assistance for implementation. Participating organizations are encouraged to send three or more persons to the training workshops and are asked to make a commitment to completing the workshop program.

MTES is the University of Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute’s principal program for extending University expertise directly to industry. It is an affiliate of the National Institutes of Standards and Technology - Manufacturing Extension Partnership program and is the main contact point for providing University of Maryland faculty expertise to Maryland companies.

MTES’s EMS workshop facilitator and implementation assistance provider has participated in the development of the ISO documents and has provided ISO 14001-based training since 1994. MTES’s technical assistance provider has 30 years of experience in engineering and project management in complex manufacturing and industrial environments.

For more information, call or e-mail Laura Armstrong at 410/537-4119,, Paul Gietka at 410-706-3445, or Jim Schaarsmith at 703/465-0415,