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EPA OK's self-audit agreement with Wisconsin colleges

Release Date: 09/25/2008
Contact Information: (EPA) Mick Hans, 312-353-5050, hans.mick@epa.gov (WAICU) Jerry Huffman, 608-256-7761, Ext. 225, jerry.huffman@waicu.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No. 08-OPA147

(Chicago, Ill. - Sept. 25, 2008) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 announced today that it has signed an agreement with 16 independent Wisconsin colleges and universities that allow the schools to perform their own compliance audits for seven major environmental laws.

The audit agreement calls for 16 members of the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities to work with a consultant in screening classroom buildings, laboratories and dining, athletic and maintenance facilities for compliance. As long as the schools correct violations and meet the conditions of the agreement, all or most penalties will be eliminated.

"We welcome this opportunity to work with Wisconsin's private colleges on a smart, comprehensive approach to environmental management," said Tinka Hyde, Director, EPA Region 5 Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.

The participating schools include:

  • Alverno College,
  • Beloit College,
  • Cardinal Stritch University,
  • Carroll University,
  • Carthage College,
  • Concordia University,
  • Edgewood College,
  • Lakeland College,
  • Marian University,
  • Marquette University,
  • Milwaukee School of Engineering,
  • Mount Mary College,
  • Northland College,
  • Ripon College,
  • St. Norbert College, and
  • Silver Lake College.

Each semester, four of the schools will submit environmental self-disclosure reports under a scheduled outlined in the agreement.

"We're taking this step to show our communities that we are not only dedicated to operating responsibly," said Rolf Wegenke, WAICU president, "but to let them know we care about the environment and want to be good neighbors."

Separately, WAICU has signed a comparable agreement with Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources that allows for self-audits by its members under Wisconsin's environmental laws.

EPA's Region 3 (Mid-Atlantic) and Region 4 (Southeast) offices have previously established similar audit agreements with groups of independent colleges and universities in Pennsylvania and Georgia, respectively.

Environmental laws covered under the audit agreement include the Clean Air Act; Clean Water Act; Safe Drinking Water Act; Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act; Resource Conservation and Recovery Act; Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act; Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act; and the Toxic Substances Control Act.

The audit agreement is online at http://www.epa.gov/region5/enforcement/pdfs/epa-waicu-agreement200809.pdf (PDF 29pp, 2.4MB - About PDF: http://www.epa.gov/epahome/pdf.html )
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