The Environmental Representative is covering a
wide variety of fields and work, in addition to the Officers for Waste,
Water Protection and Pollution Control, there are Officers for
Radiological Protection, Hazardous Substances, Hazardous Incidents,
Quality and Biological Safety as well as Sustainable Recycling Solutions
and Recycling Logistics.
We deal here only with some samples on how to create the Officers for
Waste, Water Protection and Pollution Control. There are many other
different environmental State and Federal laws in place which may
require different education and experience.
There were two factors to create the job of an
Environmental Representative. On the one hand, companies begin on their
own accord to appoint an Environmental Representative. On the other
hand, it is getting an government regulatory instruments by adding this
new component in order to initiate a change of corporate behavior.
The first deliberations concerning the
function of Environmental Officer were oriented on the Radiological
Protection Officer under nuclear law, who is directly responsible to the
authority independently of the power plant operator.
When an Environmental Officer conducts
negotiations with authorities, he does this on behalf of the company
management, his position is as a "company man" who "only has obligations
to the company and does not perform any activity on his own
responsibility. His responsibility is towards the company management and
has to be maintained.
The basis for the Environmental Officer is a
very complex one. There is no act defining the tasks, duties and rights
of the various Environmental Officers. Instead the provisions covering
the Environmental Officer are to be found in acts governing the handling
of the relevant environmental medium. In the corresponding articles of
the Water Resources Management Act, Waste Act and Pollution Control Act
the provisions for the Environmental Officer are largely dealt with in a
Specifically reference should be made
to the following facts:
- Pollution control
- Water resources and protection
- Waste and Waste Regulations
A company should appoint an
environmental protection officer!
A environmental officer will be appointed by a company for self
controlling or when an installation is subject to mandatory licensing.
Furthermore the authority may direct that companies also appoint a
Pollution Control Officer, where this becomes necessary in individual
Functions of the Environmental
The Environmental Officer has three distinct
- The Environmental Officer's
control function relates to the fact that compliance with the
statutory regulations must be monitored. This includes
monitoring the operational facilities and the performance of
- The innovatory function means
that the Environmental Officer has to promote "the development
and introduction of environmentally friendly processes and
environmentally friendly products, including processes for
recovery and recycling".
- Informative function:
Environmental Officers must educate the workforce with respect
to adverse environmental effects of the company and instruct
employees on their duties.
- Furthermore the majority of
Environmental Officers also perform a representative function in
their companies and the authorities and the general public.
- The fifth function of the
Environmental Officer comprises the possibility of training the
workforce. This qualification function has to date only been
developed to a minor extent.
Qualification of Environmental
Environmental Officers must be very highly
qualified. The respective acts demand of the Environmental Officers
specialized knowledge or factual knowledge. According to this only those
persons may be appointed Pollution Control Officers who have graduated
form an institution of higher education in the fields of chemistry,
physics, environmental technology or engineering and who also have two
years professional experience in technical environmental protection.
However, the acts also lay down that
the authority may demand of the company that another person be appointed
if "facts (become) known which make it clear that the company officer
does not have the necessary experience or education or display the
requisite degree of reliability to perform his tasks."
Rights of Environmental
The Environmental Officers are equipped by the
statutory provisions with a series of rights and powers:
- Environmental Officers must be
asked for their comments in matters relating to investment projects.
In waste law it is laid down that the Waste Officer must submit
comments at an early stage on investment decisions.
- They have the right to make
submissions. This means that the operator of a facility must ensure
that the Officer, if he has not been able to reach agreement with
the company management, may submit his suggestions or reservations
directly to the body responsible for deciding on the matter. The
Water Resources Management Act lays down in addition that the
company management must explain to the Water Protection Officer its
reasons in detail if agreement is not possible.
- If a number of Environmental
Officers have been appointed in a company, the employer must create
the conditions for co-operation between them. This includes the
formation of an environmental committee.
- The Environmental Officers have a
right to the necessary in-service and further training during
- The employer must guarantee
material support in the form of auxiliary personnel, rooms,
facilities, equipment and financial resources needed to perform the
tasks of the Environmental Officer.
- Environmental Officers may not
Prerequisites for the obligation to
appoint Operator of a facility subject to mandatory licensing or order
from the competent authority License, or order from the competent
authority Operator of stationary waste disposal facilities or facilities
in which waste in the meaning is produced regularly, or order from the
competent authority Tasks
- Monitoring compliance with acts,
ordinances and official orders
- Involvement in the development and
introduction of environmentally friendly processes and products
- Information to the company
management on environmental risks in the company, especially by
means of an annual report
- Education of company employees on
- Comments on investment projects
- Contacts with the authorities and
the general public on matters of environmental protection
Qualification Graduation from an
institute of higher education in chemistry, physics, engineering or
environmental technology and two years practical experience in the field
of technical environmental protection Specialist knowledge, aptitude and
reliability of personnel
Rights of the Officer or duties of
- Material support with auxiliary
personnel, rooms, facilities, equipment and funds, where necessary
to perform his tasks
- Reciprocal exchange of information
- Obtaining the comments of the
Environmental Protection Officer on investment projects
- Granting of right to make
- Prohibition of discrimination
against the Officer
- Facilitation of the necessary
in-service and further training and setting off of the time required
for this against working time
- If a number of company officers
for environmental protection are appointed, creation of the
conditions for co-operation between them, especially by formation of
an environmental committee
In his view the innovatory function
will remain the central one for the Environmental Officer. Using this,
integrated environmental protection can be expanded in the company. The
control function may become one of financial controlling, where the
Environmental Officer will then no longer only check compliance with
regulations, but will work with a specific forward-looking orientation.
The hitherto informative function vis-à-vis employees can be developed
into a qualification function. By means of in-company courses it will be
possible to generate a greater environmental awareness among employees
and create a competence for positive action. To achieve this change of
function, however, Environmental Officers must acquire more sociological
and educational knowledge than they at present have. The representative
function may develop further into a relay function, in which there is an
open, reciprocal exchange of information between the Environmental
Officer and the outside world.