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Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe recognized for school chemical cleanout campaign

Release Date: 10/22/2009
Contact Information: Richard Mylott, mylott.richard@epa.gov, 303 312-6654

Washington, DC event recognizes removal of 1,500 pounds of chemicals from Reservation schools

(Denver, Colo. -- October, 22, 2009) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognized the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe's Environmental Protection Department, Pollution Control Industries (PCI), and Peaks to Prairies Pollution Prevention Information Center (PPIC) today at a ceremony in Washington, DC. The collaboration between EPA, the Tribe, PCI, and PPIC led to a total of 1,515 pounds of hazardous chemicals being removed and properly disposed from five schools at the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in November, 2008. This is one of the first successful partnerships leveraged through EPA's School Chemical Cleanout Campaign (SC3) charter program.

       
Students from the affected schools competed to speak at the EPA ceremony through participation in an essay contest. Tomi Peterson, a student from Timber Lake High School was selected to speak on the importance of chemical management in schools. Sammi Ducheneaux represented the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe's Environmental Protection Department.  
       
"The schools on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation are safer today due to the efforts of a dedicated team of professionals," said Matt Langenfeld, Chemical Initiative Coordinator for EPA's Denver office. "This collaborative effort to clean out more than 1,500 pounds of potentially hazardous and toxic chemicals has made schools safer for more than 600 students."  
 
Schools that benefitted from this groundbreaking partnership include Cheyenne Eagle Butte High School, Dupree High School, Takini School, Timber Lake High School, and Tiospaye Topa School with a total student population of 668. The estimated cost of transportation and chemical disposal services provided by PCI was $26,000.  
 
The Schools Chemical Cleanout Campaign aims to ensure that all schools are free from hazards associated with mismanaged chemicals.  This campaign provides K-12 schools with information and tools to responsibly manage chemicals. Communities and school districts across the country are recognizing the risk that improperly stored, hazardous and outdated chemicals pose to students, and are creating programs to help schools responsibly manage their chemicals. SC3 builds on these efforts by developing tools that others can use to conduct chemical cleanouts and implement prevention practices. 
 
The EPA event recognizes SC3 partners and community volunteers for the work they have done to promote responsible chemical management and to remove outdated, unknown and unneeded chemicals from K-12 schools.
 
For more on SC3, visit: http://www.epa.gov/osw/partnerships/sc3/