Duluth, Minnesota - Archive
Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.
Mid-Continent Ecology Division Laboratory
This page houses older environmental information about EPA's Mid-Continent Ecology Division (MED) Laboratory in Duluth, Minnesota. View MED's current facility page.
Unique Environmental Features
- In March 2005, MED installed 37 wireless temperature sensors throughout its laboratory offices and corridors. These sensors, which give employees greater control over indoor air temperature, have the potential to decrease energy use and increase cost savings for the facility.
- Management's innovative expansion and application of the facility's control system and diligence in operational practices, both in maintenance and selective fuel use, helped the facility achieve an 18 percent reduction in energy consumption and cost from FY 1997 to FY 1999.
- In June 2004, EPA entered into a three-year contract (procured by the Defense Energy Support Center) with QVINTA, Inc. to purchase 2.35 million kilowatt hours (kWh) annually of green power for MED. This represented approximately 90 percent of the laboratory's electricity use. EPA bought 2,350 RECs (1 REC = 1,000 kWh) per year generated at a wind farm in Dodge Center, Minnesota.
- In FY 2007, MED completed a water recycling project to reduce the amount of water that was discharged into the facility’s sewage system after having been drawn from Lake Superior and used for laboratory processes. Approximately half of the 94 million gallons of water used annually for cooling and aquatic research is cleaned and returned to the lake, reducing the facility’s annual sewer charges. A water filtration project completed in FY 2008 increased the facility’s water recycling rate to 95 percent.
- In January 2004, EPA developed MED's first water management plan (PDF) (15 pp, 360K, About PDF).