NEMS Aspects List

An environmental aspect is the element of an activity, operation, product, process, or service that can interact with and affect the environment or public health. In line with the ISO 14001 standard process for Environmental Management Systems, NEMS has established a list of NIH Environmental Aspects that have potential impact on the environment. The NIH Environmental Aspects list serves to identify the manner or the means by which NEMS Activities can affect the environment. The Aspects list works hand in hand with concepts of NIH Environmental Activities and Impacts, as shown in this example:

Example: Cage washing is an example of a NEMS activity. The activity of cage washing is linked to the aspect of water consumption, because water consumption is a means by which cage washing interacts with the environment. One potential environmental “Impact” of cage washing is natural resource (water) depletion, which is caused by the water consumption Aspect of the cage washing Activity.

By identifying these Activities, Aspects, and Impacts, NEMS provides a framework for addressing them and minimizing potential environmental effects.

List of NEMS Aspects:

Air Emissions (ODS, VOCs, fugitive emissions from vehicle fueling operations and painting activities), criteria pollutants (facility emergency generators), dust, vehicle exhaust, odor, drug residue)

General Waste Generation (scrap, pallets, cardboard, paper, plastic, construction debris)

Chemical Waste Generation (spent solvents, used oil, hazardous batteries (lead-acid, lithium, NiCd), empty chemical containers, fluorescent bulbs, and unused lab chemicals, pesticides)

Radioactive Waste Generation (radioactive solutions, contaminated animal carcasses)

Medical Pathological Waste Generation (sharps, biohazard contaminated materials, autoclave wastes, animal carcasses)

Chemical spills/leaks to water or ground (fuel, hydraulic leaks, POL, storage tanks, etc.)

Decomissioning, Toxics releases (PCBs, asbestos, lead based paint, mercury)

Wastewater Discharge (discharges to the sanitary sewer including: contributions from operations such as the labs, gray water, and sewage)

Liquid discharges to surface and/or groundwaters (NPDES and stormwater-including surcharges)

Fossil Fuel consumption (UST/AST Program)

NEPA: Impacts to the human and natural environment from NIH activities