ECSI To Meet With New WDNR Senior Management

The newly appointed Secretary of the WDNR Cathy Stepp has made a few changes at the top of the organization.  On March 3, 2011, I will be meeting with Pat Stevens the new Administrator of the Division of Air and Waste (WDNR Org Chart) to explore what these changes might mean to businesses in Wisconsin.  I have known Pat for many years and am particularly interested in the Bureau of Cooperative Environmental Assistance, which is the home of the Green Tier Program.  I am also interested in exploring any new approaches the WDNR is considering to help industry obtain approval on air permit applications or revisions to applications in a timely fashion.   Leave a post here or e-mail me to let me know if you have any issues that you would like me to bring up during this meeting.  Here is some more information about Pat and a link to the WDNR news release

Pat Stevens, Division of Air and Waste.  Stevens, 49, is new to the WDNR. He will oversee Air Management, Waste and Materials Management, Remediation and Redevelopment, and Cooperative Environmental Management (including Green Tier) programs.  Pat brings 17 years of experience with WDNR programs as general counsel for the Wisconsin Builders Association, counsel for the Wisconsin Transportation Builders Association, and environmental policy director for Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce.  In these roles, he collaborated with the WDNR and others on the development of a number of WDNR rules. Stevens also served as Assistant Attorney General in North Dakota from 1988-92, working with the Natural Resources and Indian Affairs Division and the Tax Commissioner’s Office.  He holds a B.A. in business management from Arizona State University and a law degree from the University of North Dakota School of Law.

USEPA GHG Emission Reporting Deadline Extended

On March 1, 2011 the USEPA announced its intention to extend this year’s GHG Emission reporting deadline – originally March 31 – and plans to have the final uploading tool (e-GGRT) available this summer, with the data scheduled to be published later this year. This extension would allow EPA to further test the system that reporters will use to submit data, and give industry the opportunity to test the tool, provide feedback and have sufficient time to become familiar with it prior to reporting.

In its news release today the agency indicated it will provide more detail on the intended changes in the coming weeks and will ensure that this reporting extension is in effect before the original reporting deadline of March 31, 2011.

A Busy February at ECSI

ANAB Registrar Application

Preparation of the ECSI Assurance ANAB application for ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 registrar accreditation consumed a great deal of our time and effort last month.   The process requires that we address all of the requirements of ISO 17021, ISO 19011 and the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) Guidelines.  ANAB and IAF put great emphasis on impartiality and processes that will ensure the minimization of potential conflict of interest in the certification services we will be providing.  The ANAB impartiality process requires that we perform an independent review of audit reports before we make a certification decision.  This step cannot be performed by the auditors who conducted the actual registration audit.  It is additional assurance that the audit was conducted competently and objectively.  We are looking for folks who are familiar with the requirements of ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 who are interested in performing reviews of reports on a contract basis for us when we begin actual registration audits.  Let us know if you are interested, and we can fill you in on the details of the work.

Another ANAB and IAF challenge is defining the process we will use to determine auditors’ competence to perform EHSMS audits for us.  The process must include an evaluation of our auditors’ skills, knowledge, and personal attributes, as well as observations of our auditors actually performing audits before we deem them qualified.

TaskTracker CPAR Database

We have also been working on a major upgrade to the web-based TaskTracker corrective and preventive action system that we offer to our audit clients to help them track CPARs and other EHS tasks from creation through closure.  Several clients who are already using TaskTracker had some great ideas for improvements, which we are now implementing.  We have not been charging folks to use TaskTracker and will likely continue that practice for the basic version.  Here are links to flow diagrams that give an idea of the TaskTracker process for CPAR Tasks and EHS Tasks. We will be providing more information about the TaskTracker upgrade later.  Let us know if you are interested in trying it out.  We are looking for volunteers.

EHSMS Internal Auditor Course

In February, we also invested significant effort in a revised edition of our EHSMS Internal Auditor Training Course.  This course has evolved over the last 10 years based on our experiences in teaching the course and on customer and student feedback.  In this revision, we have added a few new activities that will help students understand the relationship between audit criteria, audit evidence, and audit findings.  We believe that this will make them better auditors, and that it will improve the overall quality of the internal audits they perform.

The course includes a day and a half of actual auditing, so that we can check if the added materials are effective in preparing students to perform internal audits.  The next course is will be in the New Orleans area the last week of March 28, 2011.

It’s a Go!  Madison, WI ISO 14001 EMS Lead Auditor Course

Only a few seats are left in our ISO 14001 EMS Lead Auditor Course in Madison, Wisconsin, March 28 – April 1, 2011.

Register today to confirm your place in this widely acclaimed course for EH&S professionals.  Space is limited, and we only offer this course once a year.

This is an RABQSA-certified course and can be used to obtain Lead Auditor certification from RABQSA.  The course is also perfect for those who are responsible for implementing an ISO 14001 EMS and for those who are performing EMS internal audits.  Here is a link to our website for more information, or you can call