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Emergency response

UK COAL identified potential environmental emergencies for the mine that require an emergency response plan. At the first stage in developing an emergency response plan the company identified all of the potential emergencies that could occur. The processes, like equipment failure, fire and firewater run-off involve assessing the frequency (or likelihood of occurrence) (Elliott 87). At the next stage the company considers the likely transport and fate of substances in the environment.

This includes consideration of the properties of the released materials (for example, toxicity and persistence in the environment), physical site factors (such as engineering controls) and environmental factors (such as local meteorology and topography). Besides, the nature of the receiving environment is considered. Specific attention is paid to the locations such as areas of ecological importance and the location of humans. All of this information is stored to give a description of baseline environmental conditions and an assessment of the consequences of an accident (Kingsbury, 1995; Sullivan, 1998).

The result of this process is the selection of those events or activities that need to be included by an emergency response plan. Evaluating system performance UK COAL monitors, measures and evaluates, on an ongoing basis, the performance of its management system.

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The purpose is to guarantee that the company is performing in accordance with the goals that were indicated in the environmental policy. By doing this the company identifies areas where the system is not performing as intended. This also provides the basis for general reviews of the management system. Performance evaluation is carried out at three levels.

First, the ongoing measuring and monitoring of performance is conducted. At the second level the auditing of the entire system or specific parts of the system is evaluated that helps assess the performance and implementation of the system. Then through overall system evaluation by senior management is dune in order to ensure the ongoing suitability and effectiveness of the system and to identify areas for improvement. Performance evaluation should involve processes for the implementation of recommendations. It also includes systematic follow up and reporting to confirm the efficacy of the actions taken.

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