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EPA Welcomes West Virginia University as Newest Partner in Regional Sustainability Initiative

Release Date: 09/21/2010
Contact Information: Donna Heron 215-814-5113 or heron.donna@epa.gov

MORGANTOWN, W. Va. - - September 21, 2010 Today, West Virginia University became the latest organization to join the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Sustainability Partnership Program (SPP) in a signing ceremony held at the University President’s Office. EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin joined Cabinet Secretary Randy Huffman of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) in recognizing West Virginia University (WVU).

University President James P. Clements signed the agreement on behalf of the school, formalizing the new working partnership.

“WVU has already taken many progressive steps to reduce the overall environmental footprint of the campus, and EPA is pleased to support and further those efforts” said EPA mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator, Shawn M. Garvin. “Through our partnership we expect that both sides will benefit as we build on current successes and then share those practices with other colleges and organizations.”

The Sustainability Partnership is an innovative program developed by EPA’s mid-Atlantic region to create a one-stop shopping approach for organizations that use large quantities of energy, water, and natural resources and want to go green. Instead of dealing with each of EPA's voluntary programs individually, EPA staff will work out a comprehensive ‘green’ plan for organizations that often saves money and makes good business sense. The overall goal of the SPP is to minimize the use of energy, resources and waste generation in the mid-Atlantic states.

The centerpiece of West Virginia University's sustainability effort is a performance contract to make existing buildings energy efficient. By 2016, the university expects to spend $50 million on updating equipment and installing energy saving upgrades in all of its campuses, including WVU Tech, Potomac State College and WVU-Parkersburg. So far the Evansdale campus has been completed, and the university has already spent about $20 million.

Following this project, the university is expected to reach a carbon dioxide emission level that is 31.5 percent less than a typical educational complex its size.

"We are pleased to partner with the EPA as part of our commitment to a sustainable campus," said WVU President James P. Clements. "We have integrated sustainability practices throughout the University - from buildings to our transportation systems, to the cleaning products we use. I would like to thank Clement Solomon, WVU's director of sustainability, and all those throughout the University who demonstrate this commitment daily."

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has entered into an agreement with EPA and is helping to promote the SPP throughout the state.

“It is a great day for West Virginia University with the signing of the Sustainability Partnership Agreement,” said WVDEP Cabinet Secretary Randy Huffman. “West Virginia University’s commitment to developing sustainable energy, water, and waste conservation practices in harmony with preserving West Virginia’s economy, environment, and communities for future generations speaks volumes of the many contributions already made to create a sustainable school. By signing this agreement, West Virginia University is well on their way to preparing our young people for generations of sustainable living, through its education, its fabric, and its daily practices.”

For information on the Sustainability Partnership go to: http://www.epa.gov/reg3wcmd/spp/index.html or call, 215-814-3110.