© 2012 National Mining Association
1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Hardrock Mining and Benefciation Environmental Management System Guide
(EMS Guide) was developedto assist hardrock mining companies in developing and implementing environmental management systems(EMSs) that can be customized to a company’s unique operating circumstance and management culture. Although this guide is specically intended or small- to medium-sized operators, larger operators may alsobenet rom using this guide, even i they have already implemented an EMS. Te guide includes several toolsand examples to help companies get started quickly and avoid common pitalls. Tis guide does not ocus onthird-party certication o an ISO 14001 EMS; however, ISO 14001 and certication is covered.
B. Overview o an Environmental Management System
An EMS provides a clearly dened and structured approach to managing environmental perormance—itincludes all o the procedures, practices, people, equipment, and technology at a acility. An EMS typically ollows a “plan-do-check-act” continuous improvement process. Although many models and structures are usedor an EMS, they all essentially address the ollowing items:
Identiying applicable legal requirements, impacts, and risks;
Implementing controls to manage those requirements, impacts, and risks (controls are broadly denedto include procedures, training, inspections, equipment, etc.);
Monitoring the implementation o the controls and resulting perormance over time; and
Setting goals and taking action to ensure continuous improvement.Most EMSs are ocused on delivering reliable regulatory compliance and reducing adverse impacts to theenvironment, though reductions in costs and risks as well as improved reputation and access to markets are alsoimportant outcomes or many.
C. Overview o This Guide
Tis EMS Guide describes a process or implementing an EMS at hardrock mining and beneciation opera-tions. Te process is supported by specic tools and examples to assist with EMS implementation. Specically,this guide provides:1. An example o an EMS task orce charter and kicko meeting agenda;2. An example o an environmental policy;3. ypical environmental aspects and potential impacts or a mining and beneciation operation;4. Example o a compliance calendar;5. A tool or assessing the signicance o environmental aspects or mining operations;6. A tool or assessing controls and residual risk or mining operations;7. An example o a training needs assessment matrix;8. Example o a list o EMS documents and records that acilities should maintain and control;9. Example o operational controls or signicant environmental aspects or mining operations; and10. An example o an action plan ormat.In addition, this EMS guide provides a process or monitoring and assessing perormance through manage-ment review and presents an overview o U.S. ederal environmental laws and regulations that are potentially applicable to hardrock mining operations.