International Affairs Coordinator
Public Affairs Office
New York, NY 10007
The EPA International Program provides a wide range of technical assistance to countries throughout the world. Over the years, EPA has assisted various countries in the development of environmental rules and regulations, provided advice on effective ways to address air emissions, water discharges and contamination of the land, and helped to train environmental specialists and emergency response workers.
EPA presented the Principles of Hazardous Waste Management training course as part of our capacity building effort under the Middle East Free Trade Agreement. It was presented to 12 Middle Eastern countries. Six countries attended the meeting in Rabat, Morocco and six attended in Doha, Qatar. The course included strategies for developing and enforcing a national hazardous waste program, as well as methods of defining hazardous waste, how to manage it and how to clean up waste that may have resulted in contamination from mismanagement. The course also included a discussion of the status of the development of hazardous waste management programs in each of the countries. In addition to interactive exercises using case studies, participants investigated different options in addressing hazardous waste problems.
The Environmental Management Authority (EMA) of Trinidad and Tobago invited EPA to conduct a weeklong course on writing permits for wastewater discharges. The course was modeled after the U.S. National Pollutant Elimination System (NPDES) permit writers training given to EPA and state permit writers in the U.S. EPA modified this course for an international audience, focusing on the fundamentals of an effective, enforceable permitting program.
EPA trainers gave a five-day course to an audience of approximately 35 engineers and attorneys. The audience represented the new water program at the EMA, but also the permit writers and enforcement inspectors for the multimedia Certificate of Environmental Clearance program for air, water, noise, and offshore drilling that has implemented in Trinidad and Tobago for the last five years or so. Personnel from the Department of Natural Resources in Tobago also attended the course, and will be partnering with the EMA to implement the water pollution rules.