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Raymond G. Murphy Veterans Medical Center Partners with EPA to Reduce Pollution

Release Date: 01/15/2010
Contact Information: Dave Bary at 214-665-2200 or r6press@epa.gov

(Dallas, Texas – January 15, 2010) The Raymond G. Murphy Veterans Medical Center has partnered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to recycle lead batteries throughout its hospital facilities located in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

As part of the National Partnership for Environmental Priorities (NPEP), the center will recycle lead batteries used in its maintenance shops and hospital service equipment. The hospital will increase its recycling from 640 pounds to 1,000 pounds by September 2010.

“One of our highest priorities is to make significant progress in assuring the safety of chemicals in our environment,” said EPA Regional Administrator Al Armendariz. “By joining this program, the Veterans Medical Center is helping eliminate chemicals and inspiring others to do the same.”

The New Mexico Veterans Affairs Health Care System (NMVAHCS) provides health care to veterans at its main hospital at the Raymond G. Murphy VA Medical Center in Albuquerque, at Community Based Outpatient Clinic’s (CBOC’s) in Farmington, Artesia, Gallup, Raton, Silver City, Durango, Rio Rancho, and Santa Fe as well as 11 rural health care clinics. The NMCAHCS provides other “Veteran Services” throughout New Mexico and Southwest Colorado.

“The NMVAHCS is committed to be good stewards of the environment via its Green Environmental Management System (GEMS) Program and would like to thank the NPEP for allowing us to partner with the EPA,” said VA Medical Center GEMS Coordinator Albert Martinez.

"We are pleased to see one of our Green Zia Environmental Excellence Program participants recognized for their efforts to reduce lead in the waste stream,” said New Mexico Environment Department Secretary Ron Curry. “We encourage other medical centers and establishments to work with our Pollution Prevention Program."

NPEP is a voluntary program with 262 members from private and public organizations nationwide. The goal of the program is the reduction, reuse or recycling of 31 priority chemicals. Priority chemicals are long-lasting substances than can build up in the food chain and cause harm to humans and the environment.

Ms. Michelle Vattano of the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) presented the EPA membership plaque to Mr. Albert Martinez and the medical center’s Green Environmental Management Systems Committee on December 9, 2009.

Additional information on the NPEP program is available at http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/hazwaste/minimize/npep/index.htm

To learn more about activities in EPA Region 6 visit http://www.epa.gov/region6

EPA audio file is available at http://www.epa.gov/region6/6xa/podcast/jan2010.html

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