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EPA and Yale-New Haven Hospital Sign Pact For Self-Audit

Release Date: 12/09/2004
Contact Information:

Contact: Sheryl Rosner, Public Affairs: 617-918-1865
Katie Murphy, Yale-New Haven Hospital: 203-688-2492

For Immediate Release: Dec. 9, 2004; Release # sr04-12-03

BOSTON - Yale-New Haven Hospital, acknowledging the importance of environmental stewardship in the provision of healthcare services has agreed to undertake a voluntary comprehensive environmental audit.

The agreement signed with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is the first of its kind in the New England Region and is part of a larger effort launched last spring by EPA’s New England office to foster increased compliance with environmental laws by New England hospitals. The agency’s decision to focus on the healthcare industry was prompted by concerns that many New England hospitals may not be in full compliance with environmental laws. It also was influenced by the experience of EPA’s New York/New Jersey regional office, which took enforcement actions against several hospitals after significant non-compliance was found during inspections of hospital facilities.

“Yale-New Haven Hospital should be applauded for embracing a proactive approach to complying with environmental laws,” said Robert W. Varney, New England Regional Administrator. “The Agency looks forward to working with Yale-New Haven and other New England hospitals as we embrace this innovative means to achieving compliance.”

Under the agreement, the hospital will complete a comprehensive environmental audit within the next year covering all relevant state and federal environmental requirements, disclose any violations that it finds to EPA, and correct those violation within 60 days of discovery. If the hospital uncovers any violations that pose a serious threat to the environment, it agrees to correct the problems immediately.

“At Yale-New Haven Hospital we are committed to providing the safest environment possible for our patients,” said Joseph A. Zaccagnino, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We believe that extends beyond the doors of our facilities and recognize the importance of our environment. As a result, we appreciate the opportunity to work directly with EPA to be proactive in supporting a healthy environment.”

In a statement last April sent to more than 250 hospitals in New England, Varney said, “Many hospital functions such as laboratories, power plants, and vehicle maintenance facilities, have the potential to cause environmental violations if not properly managed. I strongly encourage you to identify and correct any such violations.”

For more information on EPA’s audit policy go to: http://www.epa.gov/compliance/incentives/auditing/index.html

For more information on environmental compliance in Healthcare go to: http://www.epa.gov/NE/healthcare/