October 5, 2000

Brookhaven National Laboratory Organizations Achieve Registration To International Environmental Standard

UPTON, NY - The U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory has achieved ISO 14001 registration for eight internal organizations, certifying that its environmental management system conforms to the stringent requirements of this international standard.

"This is a great achievement for the Laboratory, and reflects our strong commitment to ensuring that Brookhaven's environmental performance measures up to our world-class status in science, " said Brookhaven Director John Marburger.

International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14001 is a globally-recognized standard that defines the structure of an organization's environmental management system for purposes of improving its environmental performance. ISO 14001 requires an organization to identify potential environmental impacts and establish controls needed to appropriately minimize any impact, to monitor and communicate environmental performance, and to establish a formal process for continually improving the system. In 1999, Brookhaven's Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) project became the first Department of Energy national laboratory and first Long Island-based organization to obtain third-party registration to the ISO 14001 standard.

The eight additional organizations now registered to the ISO standard are: the Superconducting Magnet, Reactor, Waste Management, and Environmental Restoration divisions; the Collider-Accelerator, Medical, and Biology departments; and the Brookhaven Linear Isotope Producer and associated Target Processing Laboratory. The entire Laboratory is scheduled for registration by the end of 2001.

In order to achieve registration, each organization underwent a thorough audit of its environmental management system to verify that the system conformed to all requirements and that it was effectively implemented. The certification also requires these organizations to undergo periodic audits (every nine months) by an accredited auditing firm to assure that the system is maintained.

In its recommendation for certification, NSF International Strategic Registrations, Ltd., an independent third-party environmental review firm from Ann Arbor, Michigan, singled out several aspects of Brookhaven's program as being particularly noteworthy. These included Brookhaven's strong commitment to implementing pollution prevention initiatives, the integration of the Laboratory's environmental management system with existing management systems on site, and the fact that employees were directly and fully involved in environmental management system implementation.

Brookhaven has also been recognized by others for its leading role in ISO registration: Following President Clinton's recent signing of an executive order requiring all federal facilities to implement an environmental management system, representatives from many of DOE's national laboratories began contacting Brookhaven for guidance in achieving registration for their facilities. Also, Brookhaven's mechanisms for integrating community outreach into the decision-making process were presented as a case study at an international ISO 14001 meeting.

To gain registration to the standard, an organization must comply with a series of 17 ISO 14001 requirements. These include:

· Development of an environmental policy with a commitment to compliance, pollution prevention, and continual improvement.
· Identification of environmental aspects and impacts of an operation and any legal requirements, setting objectives and targets consistent with policy and establishing an environmental management program.
· Program implementation and operation that includes defined structure and responsibility, training, communication, documentation, operational control, and emergency preparedness and response.
· Implementation of checking and corrective actions that include monitoring and auditing functions, and annual review of the system to maintain registration.
· Senior management review of overall system effectiveness.

Founded in 1946, ISO is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. ISO has developed international voluntary consensus standards for manufacturing, communication, trade, and management systems. Over 100 countries have national standards bodies that are members of ISO. Major corporations that have received the ISO 14001 designation include IBM, Johnson & Johnson, and Xerox.

The U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory creates and operates major facilities available to university, industrial and government personnel for basic and applied research in the physical, biomedical and environmental sciences and in selected energy technologies. The Laboratory is operated by Brookhaven Science Associates, a not-for-profit research management company, under contract with the U.S. Department of Energy.