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EPA Applauds Industry Efforts and the Environmental MAPS Program

Thursday, June 3, 2004

Arlington, VA -- Stephen L. Johnson, acting deputy administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), praised the work of meat and poultry plants through the American Meat Institute (AMI) Environmental MAPS Program at a Food Industry Study Tour sponsored by AMI, from April 28-30 in Fayetteville, N.C. Johnson listed several benefits of MAPS including stewardship, recognition of an environmental management system (EMS), innovation, market-based drivers and collaboration that align with EPA's "better way" priorities.

An Environmental Management System (EMS) is a systematic approach to achieve individualized, facility-specific environmental and other organizational goals, designed to minimize a facility’s environmental “footprint.” The Environmental MAPS Program is AMI's four-tiered EMS, created for the meat and poultry industry.

"I see the work that AMI has done with its MAPS Program, some of it in partnership with EPA, as a fine example of how we can work together to define a "better way" to achieve better environmental performance," said Johnson.

The study tour was given for a delegation of Chinese environmental officials, led by Wei Shanfeng, director general of the Environmental Protection Bureau of Xinjiang Autonomous Region and Zhao Hualin, China's State Environmental Protection Administration. The United States has been in partnership with China for over 20 years, during which the delegation has studied U.S. policies and best practices regarding industry pollution prevention. An MOU was signed between the United States and China last December.

Johnson described the current EPA priorities as a "better way", focusing on cooperation and collaboration. These priorities encompass four cornerstones:
1. Collaborative problem-solving
2. Market Incentives
3. Technology
4. Shift focus to results, rather than process.

Johnson also recommended two tools created cooperatively between AMI's Environmental Committee and EPA to assist in MAPS implementation: EMS Implementation Guide and EMS Business Case Brochure, available through EPA. Johnson also recommended implementation of these types of programs to the Chinese delegation.

Dennis Treacy, vice president of environmental affairs at Smithfield Foods, Inc. and chairman of the AMI Environmental Committee, spoke about public and private partnerships with regard to environmental practices. Treacy also highlighted the importance of trade associations such as AMI working on behalf of industry members to implement environmental programs.

For more information on EMS and the Environmental MAPS Program, visit http://www.epa.gov or www.MeatAMI.com, click on Labor/Environment.

For more information contact:
Dave Ray
Vice President, Public Affairs
Ayoka Blandford
Manager, Public Affairs

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