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August 2, 2002

EPA selects Purdue to help governments care for the environment

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University has been selected by the Environmental Protection Agency to help local governments meet their environmental goals.

The EPA's Office of Water has selected Purdue's Indiana Clean Manufacturing Technology and Safe Materials Institute (CMTI) and seven other organizations around the country to become Environmental Management System (EMS) Local Resource Centers. These centers will assist local governments with improving their overall environmental performance. Environmental Management Systems, used extensively in private industry, are now being adopted by a growing number of government organizations, through work led by the Office of Water in collaboration with other EPA offices.

Lynn A. Corson, director of the Purdue institute, said he is pleased with EPA's selection and that it offers an excellent opportunity to further serve the people of Indiana.

"Indiana will now be one of the first states with municipalities that have the potential for being in harmony with the environment," Corson said. "Purdue's designation as a Local Resource Center will provide an opportunity for local governments to take the next step in complying with environmental regulations."

Environmental management systems provide organizations with a structured process for identifying and then reducing a broad range of environmental impacts from their operations and in meeting key environmental goals. CMTI will assist local governments in developing a system for minimizing the environmental impact of activities such as wastewater treatment and vehicle fleet maintenance.

"In the winter, for example, city governments needs to clean salt from their trucks in an environmentally friendly way," Corson said. "We will help them find ways of keeping the salt from the groundwater."

The EMS centers will be located at existing academic or other non-profit institutions that have a proven track record of providing high quality environmental assistance in their respective areas. The organizations selected as EMS Resource Centers include:

• Purdue University – Indiana Clean Manufacturing Technology and Safe Materials Institute.

• University of Wisconsin-Stout – EDA University Center.

• University of Florida – Center for Training, Research and Education for Environmental Occupations.

• Georgia Institute of Technology – Center for International Standards and Quality.

• University of Massachusetts at Lowell – Department of Regional Economic and Social Development.

• Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission.

• Virginia Tech University – Center for Organizational and Technological Advancement.

• The Zero Waste Alliance in Portland, Ore.

The EPA will work with centers to help them serve the needs of local and state agencies that wish to learn more about emergency management systems and adopt them for their operations. Each center also will share information on their activities through a publicly available online national clearinghouse of EMS information for public agencies.

The Indiana Clean Manufacturing Technology and Safe Materials Institute (formerly the Indiana Pollution Prevention and Safe Materials Institute) was created by the Indiana General Assembly in 1990. Funds were appropriated for its operation in 1993, and the Indiana Pollution Prevention Board selected Purdue University to operate the institute, which formally began operations in 1994. The institute provides technical assistance, research, education and technology transfer services to help Indiana businesses adopt pollution prevention strategies.

The CMTI Environmental Management Systems Web site is currently being constructed and can be accessed at http://www.ecn.purdue.edu/CMTI.

Source: Lynn Corson, (765) 463-4749, corson@purdue.edu

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu


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