ERDC Safety and Environmental Management Office

Protecting our workforce and environment

U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center
Published June 30, 2017
Updated: March 7, 2019
ERDC Safety trains with NASA

HOUSTON (Aug. 18, 2017) - Environmental Protection Specialist Kelly Rowland, (gray shirt) became a qualified dive safety representative as she completed a two-week training course at NASA's Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory. "The NASA instructors and facilities were just what you would expect, totally professional," said Rowland. "The first couple of days you kind of pinch yourself because you're training in the same facility with astronauts. By the third day it starts to become normal and you settle in to excellent training." Rowland's newly acquired skills enhance the ERDC Safety and Environmental Management Office's capabilities especially in its support of the center's dive team.

Areas of Responsibility

SEMO is responsible for ensuring that ERDC’s teammates and resources remain compliant with and informed of local, state and federal laws and regulations while advising about how to establish a safe operating environment. This is executed through on-site monitoring, inspections and advisement.


  • Develops programs that ensure workplace safety, including general awareness and equipment training, but also unique areas such as biosafety, explosives, radiation and underwater diving safety.
  • Leverages medical surveillance in combination with integrated communications to proactively identify hazards and reduce risks.
  • Develops, reviews and plans for environmental programs above and underground storage tanks, air emissions and storm water.
  • Provides a Wellness Clinic focused on preventative measures, primarily conducting physicals and assessing occupational health needs.

Unique Requirements

As the result of ERDC’s diverse mission space, the SEMO has responsibilities that are unique or limited across the USACE enterprise. Below are the most notable:

  • Ensures compliance for the only large-site hazardous waste programs in USACE; one at Hanover, NH and one in Vicksburg, MS.
  • Manages a diverse Radiation Program that requires annual licensure fees for gauges, equipment and loose materials.
  • Monitors USACE’s only Biosafety Level 2 (BSL-2), or higher, laboratory. BSL-2 laboratories are used to study moderate-risk infectious agents or toxins that pose risks.
  • Operates a permitted, Class II rubbish landfill on the Vicksburg ERDC Campus.

Staff at a Glance

SEMO is comprised of two teams: Safety and Occupational Health and Environmental Management. The majority of the team is located in Vicksburg, MS, with members also physically located in Champaign, IL and Hanover, NH:

  • The Environmental Management team consists of a team lead, two to three environmental specialists and a chemical engineer.
  • The Safety and Occupational Health team consists of a team lead, two to three safety and occupational health specialists, an industrial hygienist and two nurses. The team also manages a contract for on-site physician support (two days a week).

Updated 07 June 2022


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