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New Tool Will Help Colleges Improve Environmental Compliance and Results

Release Date: 10/11/2006
Contact Information: Dave Ryan, (202) 564-4355 / ryan.dave@epa.gov

(Washington, D.C. - Oct. 11, 2006) Colleges and universities nationwide are getting a new learning tool in the form of a compliance assistance center that will help them understand and comply with environmental laws.

The center, which will also benefit grade schools, will be the 15
th in a network of EPA-supported centers for various economic sectors, including hospitals and health care centers, auto service and repair facilities and printers. For the past decade, EPA has supported compliance assistance centers to help environmental managers in key sectors improve and manage compliance more efficiently.

The center is part of an agreement between EPA and the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) announced today by EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson during a visit to Washington University in St. Louis. Under the agreement, EPA will provide $65,000 under phase one of the project, and up to $350,000 over the next five years. While not the grant recipient, Washington University will be one of many universities to benefit from the center's new services.

"Just as colleges and universities arm students with the tools to succeed, EPA is arming campuses with the tools to create a cleaner, healthier learning environment," said Johnson.

Nationwide, more than 4,100 colleges and universities with total revenues of $270 billion employ 3.2 million workers. These facilities maintain many types of operations, such as laboratories, art studios, utility generation and transmission plants, dormitories, and water distribution systems. As a result, these institutions also face a range of environmental management challenges.

Harnessing the power of the Internet, this latest compliance assistance center will provide tools and information for improving environmental management on campuses. It will also offer a virtual campus tour online that will enable users to quickly and easily target priority issues.

Prior to the announcement, Johnson toured the university to observe research initiatives aimed at improving energy efficiency and advancing renewable energy sources. An environmental leader with many environmental initiatives underway, Washington University is a NACUBO member and was instrumental in shaping this agreement. Other national education associations involved in the development of this new resource include the Campus Consortium for Environmental Excellence; the Campus Safety, Health and Environmental Management Association; and the Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers.

The environmental performance of colleges and universities is profiled in EPA's
2006 Sector Strategies Performance Report (pages 23-28). The report highlights proactive programs at a number of schools to reduce air emissions, minimize waste, conserve water, and practice green construction.

A copy of the report: epa.gov/sectors/performance.html

More information about EPA's compliance assistance centers: epa.gov/compliance/assistance/centers/index.html