The Role of the Environmental Unit Leader (ENVL or EUL)

EMSI, Inc. continues to provide emergency management performance support to responders through the development of Incident Command System (ICS) courses and job aids. We are proud to offer our new Environmental Unit Leader course and job aid. This course and job aid were recently developed in consultation with government and private subject matter experts to help define what roles and responsibilities were most required by this critical position based upon their experiences in response operations.

The Environmental Unit Leader is responsible for environmental matters during an incident, including strategic assessment, modeling, surveillance, and environmental monitoring and permitting. Generally, the ENVL comes from a public environmental or natural resource management agency to help ensure a response is in compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and ordinances, though this position is also common among our industry clients as well.  In addition to the responsibilities outlined above, the ENVL oversees Technical Specialists assigned to the Environmental Unit, such as sampling, response technologies, trajectory analysis, weather forecasting, resources at risk, historical/cultural resources, and waste disposal.

Due to the spectrum of environmental matters the ENVL is responsible for, students for this course should have expertise in the Environmental Sciences related to an emergency response. This two-day course addresses leadership and management issues such as:

  • Roles, responsibilities, and relationships
  • Response preparedness
  • Incident notification, response, and briefing
  • Establishing the Environmental Unit procedures
  • Supporting the ICS Operational Planning process (the planning “P”)
  • Environmental Unit Leader effectiveness and best practices

Similar to other EMSI offerings, the ENVL course leverages scenarios to aid the student in material comprehension throughout the course. This course is designed for those involved in the decision making process, so students should have familiarity with the ICS Operational Planning Process (e.g., ICS-300).

Our new ENVL job aid is one of our most comprehensive performance aids to date. In addition to EMSI’s guidance on performing in the Operational Planning Process, this job aid offers several key checklists for the ENVL, such as an information exchange matrix (who you should talk to in an ICS structure) and an Environmental Unit product matrix (what you should be producing during an incident).