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Huntsville Center improves hazardous materials management

U.S. Army Environmental Command
Published May 28, 2020
Personnel apply absorbent rolls to a simulated hazardous material spill during a training scenario at U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz in 2019. U.S. Army Installation Management Command garrisons are more efficient and effective at management, tracking, and reporting of hazardous materials thanks to the Environmental, Safety and Occupational Health – Management Information System implementation team of Huntsville Center’s Environmental and Munitions Center of Expertise.

Personnel apply absorbent rolls to a simulated hazardous material spill during a training scenario at U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz in 2019. U.S. Army Installation Management Command garrisons are more efficient and effective at management, tracking, and reporting of hazardous materials thanks to the Environmental, Safety and Occupational Health – Management Information System implementation team of Huntsville Center’s Environmental and Munitions Center of Expertise.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- U.S. Army Installation Management Command garrisons are more efficient and effective at management, tracking, and reporting of hazardous materials thanks to the Environmental, Safety and Occupational Health – Management Information System implementation team of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville Environmental and Munitions Center of Expertise.

The EM CX provided program management for the EESOH-MIS implementation for IMCOM as it builds and manages the EESOH-MIS training team, training development, upward reporting, and funds management. IMCOM requested that the EM CX train and implement the use of EESOH-MIS at IMCOM installations to manage their hazardous materials and hazardous wastes.

Previously, many installations used other more costly user licenses, such as the Hazardous Materials Management System, or other commercial databases that required annual renewal fees to manage their HM or HW data. Licensing costs were greatly reduced with the single EESOH-MIS application.

“Through implementation of the EESOH-MIS, installations can effectively control necessary quantities of hazardous materials maintained on hand to meet mission requirements while at the same time protecting the environment by minimizing excess ordering and controlling hazardous constituents” said Diana Rochford, EESOH-MIS Program Manager from the EM CX, which is located in Omaha, Nebraska.

Rochford said Implementation of this system will allow the Army to reduce costs, reduce waste, and increase readiness by ensuring all Army Installations and activities use it to manage hazardous materials and to satisfy regulatory reporting requirements.

EESOH-MIS implementation is of great value to the Environmental Quality program, because it retrieves data as it complies with environmental reporting requirements, such as the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. Safety data sheets are now available to communicate risks associated with HM to emergency responders and HM handlers.

 The costs associated with the preparation of HW disposal documents have been reduced through less paperwork and shorter timeframes. Control of the quantity and nature of HM stored on the installation ensures compliance with pollution prevention requirements.

The EM CX’s team members met and coordinated with stakeholders in order to implement a hazardous material management program in the best way, to include training for HM requirements and acting as a liaison between all parties to ensure good communication.

Stakeholders include Department of Army G-4, the Deputy Chief of Staff G-9, IMCOM Headquarters, Army Sustainment Command, Public Works directorates across the Army, tenant organizations, and shop stewards and safety and occupational health personnel where HM or HW are used.

There is a long list of accomplishments achieved from 2017 through 2019 as the EM CX, on behalf of IMCOM, trained and implemented the use of the EESOH-MIS. Installation staff was trained to perform necessary HM and HW management duties. 

The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act or EPCRA was created to help communities plan for chemical emergencies and requires installations to report on the storage, use, and releases of hazardous substances.  EPCRA reporting was used during this process.

Initial and follow-up installation site visits and weekly calls with installations were conducted to monitor progress and assist with the set-up of information within the EESOH-MIS database.

Hazmat and shop training, reviewer training, and administrator training was developed, while installation EESOH-MIS administrators and user access was established and managed. Installation staff was trained to set up processes within EESOH-MIS and also trained in EESOH-MIS workflows.

Consistent and efficient implementation of EESOH-MIS at IMCOM installations was enabled when a web-based training site was developed and technical support was provided to installation users. Reports to track implementation progress were provided to HQDA and IMCOM.

The efforts of the EESOH-MIS team during this two-year period resulted in the transition of 10 installations to the EESOH-MIS. There were 123 EESOH-MIS training sessions completed, six follow-up visits, nine pre-site visits and six data collection visits were conducted.

IMCOM installations are now more efficient and effective in managing, tracking, and reporting of hazardous materials and hazardous wastes due to the EESOH-MIS implementation at Huntsville Center’s EM CX.