OCSD honored as nation's first certified biosolids environmental management system

The National Biosolids Partnership (NBP), an alliance of the Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies (AMSA), Water Environment Federation (WEF), and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), recognized the Orange County Sanitation District (OCSD), Fountain Valley, CA, as the first wastewater agency in the nation to be admitted to the Partnership's environmental management system (EMS) for biosolids program.

Aug. 7, 2003 -- The National Biosolids Partnership (NBP), an alliance of the Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies (AMSA), Water Environment Federation (WEF), and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), recognized the Orange County Sanitation District (OCSD), Fountain Valley, CA, as the first wastewater agency in the nation to be admitted to the Partnership's environmental management system (EMS) for biosolids program.

OCSD is one of 51 demonstration agencies participating in the NBP EMS for biosolids program.

A special presentation was held 3:30 pm Thursday, August 7, 2003 at the Orange County Sanitation District's Reclamation Plant #1. Board members and the general manager were awarded a Certificate of Achievement by officials of the NBP, WEF, AMSA, and U.S. EPA.

As the first wastewater agency admitted into the NBP EMS program, Orange County Sanitation District's achievement recognizes that the agency has been independently verified as having an effective biosolids environmental management system. OCSD's biosolids EMS was independently verified on July 17, 2003 by KEMA-Registered Quality, Inc. to conform to the NBP's EMS guidance.

"NBP is pleased with Orange County Sanitation District's successful completion and verification of the NBP EMS program," said NBP Chair Robert Hite. "The Partnership believes that instituting an EMS for utility management is vital to enhancing environmental excellence in local communities."

The EMS verification signifies that OCSD meets the requirements for admittance to the NBP EMS program and supports excellence in biosolids management practices, exceeds regulatory compliance obligations, and provides meaningful opportunities for public participation.

"The Environmental Management System is a modern management approach based on continuous improvement and environmentally sustainable practices, said OCSD General Manager Blake Anderson. "The program reaffirms the mission of this agency to protect the public health and environment through world-class leadership in wastewater and resource management."

Jason Morrison, Program Director for the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security in Oakland, CA said "The NBP EMS represents a notable step forward for industry-sponsored environmental improvement initiatives. Interested parties nationally and locally should view the NBP EMS Program as a progressive, credible effort, the certification to which demonstrates a biosolids organization's commitment and capacity to deliver consistent regulatory compliance, increased communication with interested parties, and continual improvement in all aspects of biosolids management."

An additional 6-10 NBP wastewater demonstration agencies are expected to undergo audits of their EMS for biosolids program in 2003 and be admitted to the EMS Program. For more information on the OCSD EMS program, visit: their web site at: http://www.ocsd.com/info/biosolids/ems.asp. For more on the NBP EMS program, visit: http://www.biosolids.org/emsguide/.

Additional information relating to the August 7th event will be posted on the NBP and OCSD web sites later this week.

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