Environmental Management

It is the policy of Florida Institute of Technology (Florida Tech) to provide and ensure a safe and healthy environment for the Florida Tech community by constantly maintaining an effective safety and environmental/occupational health program. 

Environmental Management Fundamentals & Systems 

An Environmental Management System (EMS) is a framework that helps an organization achieve its environmental goals through consistent review, evaluation, and improvement of its environmental performance. The assumption is that this consistent review and evaluation will identify opportunities for improving and implementing the environmental performance of the organization. The EMS itself does not dictate a level of environmental performance that must be achieved; each organization's EMS is tailored to the its own individual objectives and targets. 

Hazardous Waste Management 

Hazardous waste is a waste with properties that make it dangerous or capable of having a harmful effect on human health or the environment. Hazardous waste is generated from many sources, ranging from industrial manufacturing process wastes to batteries and may come in many forms, including liquids, solids gases, and sludges. 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed a regulatory definition and process that identifies specific substances known to be hazardous and provides objective criteria for including other materials in the regulated hazardous waste universe. 

Oil Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) 

The goal of Oil Pollution Act of 1990 is to prevent oil from reaching navigable waters and adjoining shorelines, and to contain discharges of oil. The regulatory standards require these facilities to develop and implement Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plans and establishes procedures, methods, and equipment requirements (Subparts A, B, and C). 

Stormwater Management 

Stormwater runoff is generated from rain and snowmelt events that flow over land or impervious surfaces, such as paved streets, parking lots, and building rooftops, and does not soak into the ground. The runoff picks up pollutants like trash, chemicals, oils, and dirt/sediment that can harm our rivers, streams, lakes, and coastal waters. To protect these resources, communities, construction companies, industries, and others, use stormwater controls, known as best management practices (BMPs). These BMPs filter out pollutants and/or prevent pollution by controlling it at its source. 

The NPDES stormwater program regulates some stormwater discharges from three potential sources: municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s), construction activities, and industrial activities. Operators of these sources might be required to obtain an NPDES permit before they can discharge stormwater. This permitting mechanism is designed to prevent stormwater runoff from washing harmful pollutants into local surface waters. 

Air Quality 

Determining how various pollutants may impact human health and the environment requires information from a range of disciplines, such as toxicology and epidemiology. 

Short- and/or long-term exposure to air pollution has been associated with a wide range of human health effects including increased respiratory symptoms, hospitalization for heart or lung diseases, and even premature death. Hazardous (or toxic) air pollutants may cause cancer or other serious health effects, such as reproductive effects or birth defects. 

Indoor air quality and problems

 The most common causes of IAQ problems in buildings are: 

  • Not enough ventilation, lack of fresh outdoor air or contaminated air being brought into the building
  • Poor upkeep of ventilation, heating and air-conditioning systems, and
  • Dampness and moisture damage due to leaks, flooding or high humidity
  • Occupant activities, such as construction or remodeling
  • Indoor and outdoor contaminated air

Informative sites:

https://www.epa.gov/ems/learn-about-environmental-management-systems#what-is-an-EMS

https://www.epa.gov/hw/learn-basics-hazardous-waste

https://www.epa.gov/oil-spills-prevention-and-preparedness-regulations/overview-spill-prevention-control-and

https://www.epa.gov/npdes/npdes-stormwater-program

https://www.epa.gov/air-quality-management-process/managing-air-quality-human-health-environmental-and-economic

https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/indoorairquality/faqs.html