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Celebrating 10 Years of Good Science at EPA’s Environmental Science Center in Fort Meade, Md.

Release Date: 04/15/2009
Contact Information: Donna Heron 215-814-5113 / heron.donna@epa.gov

PHILADELPHIA (April 15, 2009) – In the 10 years that EPA’s Environmental Science Center (ESC) has been up and running, more than 60,000 environmental samples have been analyzed.

Opened in 1999, the 70 chemistry, biology and microbiology laboratories at the Environmental Science Center have analyzed air, water and soil samples for chemical contaminants. Scientists have worked on projects that keep drinking water safe, control the safety of pesticides, detergents and other household products, and developed the scientific evidence that underlies criminal cases against polluters in EPA’s mid-Atlantic region.

It is the fourth largest EPA-owned and operated laboratory facility in the U.S. Staff and scientists from ESC have helped disaster and cleanup workers in national emergencies including the Capitol Hill Anthrax removal action, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the 9/11 Pentagon response and the Columbia Space Shuttle disaster.

“We are celebrating a decade of high-quality scientific research produced by the Environmental Science Center. Everyday, personnel at the ESC provide vital support to EPA regional and national initiatives including our Superfund and drinking water programs,” said William C. Early, EPA acting administrator for the mid-Atlantic region.

In addition to its scientific expertise, the ESC also practices what it preaches. Since 1999, the facility has received numerous awards for reducing water and energy use including saving 13 percent of BTUs, reducing water consumption by more than 32 percent, and saving more than $100,000 annually on utility costs.

ESC was designed for minimal environmental impact. Some of its green building features include natural light for labs and offices, non-Freon coolants and heat exchangers, lead-free solder in plumbing, wood lab cabinetry manufactured from sustainable forests, recycled asphalt for parking and roadway surfaces, and natural landscaping with retained mature trees and native plants.

For more information on the Environmental Science Center, go to: http://www.epa.gov/greeningepa/facilities/fortmeade.htm.

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