ACGIH – American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists; charitable 501 (c)(3) scientific organization that advances occupational and environmental health


ACP – Area Contingency Plan; reference document prepared for the use of all agencies engaged in responding to environmental emergencies within a defined geographic area; the plan may also contain Sub-Area and Geographic Response Plans, which may have more limited scope than the ACP itself


ANSI – American National Standards Institute; private organization that oversees the development of voluntary standards for products, services, processes, systems, and personnel


API – American Petroleum Institute; API is the only national trade association that represents all aspects of America’s oil and natural gas industry; members include producers, refiners, suppliers, marketers, pipeline operators and marine transporters, as well as service and supply companies that support all segments of the industry


ASTM International – used to be called American Society of Testing and Materials; this is an international standards organization that develops and publishes technical standards for a wide range of materials and products


BBS – Behavioral-Based Safety – a process that creates a safety partnership between management and employees that continually focuses people’s attentions and actions on theirs, and others, daily safety behavior; BBS programs have been adopted throughout industry


BCSP – Board of Certified Safety Professionals; purpose to certify practitioners in the safety profession; issue certifications including ASP, CSP, GSP, OHST, CHST, STS, STSC and CET


BLM – Bureau of Land Management; agency within the US Department of the Interior that administers public lands in the US which constitute 1/8th of the landmass of the country


BOEM – Bureau of Ocean Energy Management; U.S. federal agency within the Department of the Interior that manages the development of offshore energy and mineral resources appropriately balancing economic development, energy independence and environmental protection


BSEE – Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement; lead federal agency charged with improving safety and ensuring environmental protection related to the offshore energy industry, primarily oil and natural gas; enforces SEMS compliance

CAA – Clean Air Act; U.S. federal law designed to control air pollution on a national level; one of the United States’ first and most influential modern environmental laws, and one of the most comprehensive air quality laws in the world


CatEx – Categorical Exclusion; NEPA document stating that a category of actions does not individually or cumulatively affect the environmental, and neither an EA or EIS is required


CERCLA – Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act; authorizes government agencies to recover damages caused by hazardous substances; this Act established the Superfund program


CFR – Code of Federal Regulations; the codification of the general and permanent rules and regulations published by the Federal Register by the executive departments and agencies of the U.S. federal government


CIH – Certified Industrial Hygienist; individual who has met the minimum requirements for education and experience, and through examination, has demonstrated a minimum level of knowledge and skills in the following subject matter areas: air sampling and instrumentation, analytical chemistry and basic science


CSP – Certified Safety Professional; safety certification offered by the BCSP; internationally accredited by ANSI


CWA - Clean Water Act; primary federal law in the U.S. governing water pollution; administered by the EPA, in coordination with state governments; objective to restore and maintain the integrity of the nation’s waters by preventing pollution, providing wastewater treatment assistance, and maintaining the integrity of wetlands


DART – Days Away, Restricted Duty, Transfer; safety metric that helps employers determine how many workplace injuries and illnesses required employees to miss work, perform restricted work activities or transfer to another job within a calendar year


DMR – Discharge Monitoring Report; periodic water pollution report prepared by industries, municipalities and other facilities discharging to surface waters under an NPDES permit


DOI – Department of Interior; U.S. federal executive department of the US government responsible for the management and conservation of most federal land and natural resources, and the administration of programs relating to Native American, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and others

DOT – Department of Transportation; federal Cabinet department of the U.S. government concerned with transportation, regulating aviation, roadways, railways and pipelines, among other activities


EA – Environmental Assessment; NEPA document prepared to determine the significance of a project’s environmental outcomes and looks at alternatives of achieving the project objectives; provides sufficient evidence to determine whether to prepare an EIS


EIS – Environmental Impact Statement; the most comprehensive NEPA document- prepared for projects which do not fall within a CatEx, and where an EA is insufficient


EPA – Environmental Protection Agency; Federal agency charged with the protection of human health and the environment


EPCRA – Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act; passed in 1986 in response to concerns regarding the environmental and safety hazards posed by the storage and handling of toxic chemicals


ESA – Environmental Site Assessment; used primarily in reference to Phase I ESA and Phase II ESA


FONSI – Finding of No Significant Impact; issued when environmental analysis and interagency review during the EA process find a project to have no significant impacts on the quality of the environmental; the FONSI document is the EA modified to reflect all applicable comments and responses


GIS – Geographic Information System; a computer system for capturing, storing, checking, and displaying data related to positions on the Earth’s surface


HSE – Health, Safety and Environmental; the most common acronym to describe this professional field of work; other acronyms include ESH, EHS, SHE, or HSEQ (where ‘Quality’ is added)


IADC – International Association of Drilling Contractors; since 1940, the IADC has exclusively represented the worldwide oil and gas drilling industry; membership open to any company involved in oil and gas exploration, drilling or production, well servicing, oilfield manufacturing or other rig-site services


ICP – Integrated Contingency Plan; the ICP, or ‘One Plan’ guidance, is a resource for use in consolidating, into one functional plan, multiple emergency response plans for releases of oil and non-radiological hazardous substances


IMO – International Maritime Organization; United Nation specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships


ISO – International Organization for Standardization; standard-setting body composed of representatives from various national standards organizations; standards ensure that products and services are safe, reliable and of good quality; Popular standards include ISO 14001 – Environmental Management, ISO 9001 – Quality Management, and ISO 45001 – Occupational Health and Safety


JSA / JHA – Job Safety Analysis / Job Hazard Analysis; a technique that focuses on job tasks as a way to identify safety risks before they occur; focuses on the relationship between the worker, the task, the tools and the work environment


LDEQ – Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality; environmental agency of Louisiana, to provide service through comprehensive environmental protection in order to promote and protect health, safety and welfare while considering sound policies regarding employment and economic development


LEPC – Local Emergency Planning Committee; under EPCRA, LEPCs must develop an emergency response plan, review the plan at least annually, and provide information about chemicals in the community to citizens


MARPOL 73/78 – short for marine pollution, and ‘73/78’ is short for the years 1973 and 1978; marine environmental convention developed by IMO to eliminate pollution


MSD – Municipal Setting Designation; an official state designation given to a property within a municipal jurisdiction that certifies that groundwater at the property is not used as potable water, and is prohibited from future use as potable water due to contamination in excess of protective concentration levels


MS4 – Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System; often used to reference the NPDES requirement that owners/operators of MS4s develop, implement, and enforce a stormwater management program


NEPA – National Environmental Policy Act; the federal law that promotes the enhancement of the environment; requires all federal agencies to prepare analyses (CatEx, EA and EIS), which state the potential environmental effects of proposed federal projects


NIOSH – National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health; US federal agency responsible for conducting research and making recommendations for the prevention of work-related injury and illness

NMFS – National Marine Fisheries Service; U.S. federal agency, responsible for the stewardship of national marine resources; conserves and manages fisheries to promote sustainability and prevent lost economic potential associated with overfishing, declining species and degraded habitats


NOAA – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; U.S. federal agency within the Department of Commerce designated to understand and predict changes in climate, weather, oceans, and coasts to share that knowledge and information with others, and to conserve and mange coastal and marine ecosystems and resources


NPDES – EPA National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System; a permit program which addresses water pollution by regulating point sources that discharge pollutants to waters of the United States


NRC – National Response Center; part of the US National Response System staffed 24 hour per day by USCG; the designated federal point of contact for reporting all oil, chemical, radiological, biological and etiological discharges into the environmental anywhere in the US and its territories


OPA 90 – Oil Pollution Act of 1990; streamlined and strengthened EPA’s ability to prevent and respond to catastrophic oil spills; a trust fund financed by a tax on oil is available to cleanup spills when the responsible party is incapable or unwilling to do so


OSHA – Occupational Safety and Health Administration; part of the U.S. Department of Labor; charged with assuring safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women, by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance


PCA – Property Condition Assessment; due diligence investigation of commercial property and buildings, to evaluate the condition for purchase, lease or management; performed in accordance with ASTM E2018, and often along with a Phase I ESA


Phase I ESA – an investigation performed for a real estate holding (usually as part of a commercial property transaction) that identifies existing or potential environmental contamination; performed in accordance with ASTM E1527


Phase II ESA – an investigation (usually following a Phase I ESA), which includes sampling and laboratory analysis (usually of soils and/or groundwater) to confirm the presence of hazardous materials; performed in accordance with ASTM E1903


PHMSA – Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration; agency within the DOT that is responsible for developing and enforcing regulations for the safe, reliable, and environmentally sound operation of all pipeline transportation in the United States; responsible for all shipments of hazardous materials by land, sea and air


RCRA – Resource Conservation and Recovery Act; the principal federal law governing the disposal of solid waste and hazardous waste


Risk Assessment -  the quantitative or qualitative estimate of risk related to a recognized threat or hazard


SARA – Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act; amended CERCLA to add new enforcement capabilities, increase the size of the Superfund, encourage greater citizen participation in making decisions and increase state involvement


SDS – Safety Data Sheet; previously called an MSDS, it is a document that provides information on the properties of hazardous chemicals and how they affect health and safety in the workplace


Section 401 Permit Program – Section 401 of the CWA requires that an applicant for a federal permit (e.g., 404 Permit), provide a Water Quality Certification of compliance with both the CWA, and any site specific (state or tribal) water quality standards; administered by the state environmental protection agency (e.g., TCEQ in Texas, and LDEQ in Louisiana)


Section 404 Permit Program – Section 404 of the CWA establishes a program to regulate the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the U.S., including wetlands; the program is administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers


SEMS – Safety and Environmental Management Systems; a performance-focused tool for integrating and managing offshore operations; enforced by BSEE under 30 CFR part 250


SERC – State Emergency Response Commission; the governor of each state has designated a SERC that is responsible for implementing EPCRA provisions within its state.


SOPEP – Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan; provides guidance on the steps to be taken in the event of an oil spill; carried on board tankers (>150 GT) and other vessels (>400 GT); required by MARPOL 73/78, as per IMO guidelines




SPCC – EPA Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure Plan; developed to help facilities prevent a discharge of oil into navigable waters of adjoining shorelines


Superfund – government program designed to fund the cleanup of sites contaminated with hazardous substances and pollutants; established by CERCLA


SWPPP – Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan; this is the acronym used by the EPA NPDES stormwater program, which regulates stormwater discharges from three potential sources: MS4s, construction activities, and industrial activities


SWP3 – Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan; this acronym is most often used by the state agencies that oversee water quality, and administer the EPA NPDES permit program


TCEQ – Texas Commission on Environmental Quality; state agency charged with protecting public health and natural resources


TGLO – Texas General Land Office; oldest state agency in Texas, formed to determine who owned what and where after Texas won its independence; manages state lands, operates the Alamo, helps Texans recovering from natural disasters, helps fund Texas public education through the Permanent School Fund, provides benefits to Texas Veterans, and manages the vast Texas coast


TSCA – Toxic Substance Control Act; US law, passed by congress in 1976, provides EPA with authority to require reporting, record-keeping and testing requirements, and restrictions relating to the chemical substances and/or mixtures; certain substances are generally excluded from TSCA, including food, drugs, cosmetics and pesticides


TRIR – Total Recordable Incident Rate; mathematical computation that takes into account how many OSHA recordable incidents a company has had (x 200,000) per number of hours worked.


USACE – US Army Corps of Engineers; US federal agency under the Department of Defense and a major Army command made of civilian and military personnel, making it one of the world’s largest public engineering, design, and construction management agencies


USCG – United States Coast Guard; branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, operating under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; charged with marine environmental protection and maritime safety, among other roles


VCP – State Voluntary Cleanup Program; state program that provides administrative, technical and legal incentives to encourage the cleanup of contaminated sites