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Information for Colleges and Universities


United States Environmental Protection Agency, in partnership with state environmental agencies, is alerting colleges and universities throughout the mid-Atlantic states about their responsibility to comply with environmental laws and regulations. January 21, 2005, EPA, Pennsylvania, and the Association of Colleges and Universities Signed a Self-Audit Agreement. The agreement will increase environmental compliance at Pa. Colleges and Universities For the complete copy of this Press Release and additional Press Releases regarding Colleges and Universities

Samantha Phillips Beers, Esq., Director of EPA Mid-Atlantic Region, Office of Enforcement, Compliance and Environmental Justice (ECEJ), provided remarks to the Federal Relations Committee of the American Association of Universities, meeting on  July 14, 1999, in Washington, DC To view the Talking Points.  EPA has conducted three compliance workshops – two hosted by Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and one hosted by the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia

At the request of a number of leaders in the higher education field, EPA, Mid-Atlantic Region, has developed a List of Questions to help College and University Presidents determine if they are meeting their legal and leadership obligations in the environmental realm.  Mid-Atlantic Region has also developed a List of Questions to help Athletic Directors identify possible environmental issues associated with the management operations of the athletic facilities on campus.  Environmental problems at some colleges and universities include improper handling and disposal of hazardous waste materials; boilers and furnaces that are not in compliance with clean air regulations; inadequate monitoring of underground storage tanks; sewage treatment facilities that are not operating properly; and improper abatement of lead-based paint and asbestos.

The EPA offers a wide variety of compliance assistance resources and tools designed to assist facilities in complying with federal and state environmental laws. These resources can help facilities understand their obligations, improve compliance and find cost-effective ways to comply through the use of pollution prevention and other innovative technologies. Most of the information applies to all types of facilities, but a few are geared toward colleges and universities.   You may want to bookmark or have some of the following links and phone numbers added to your website for future reference.

Recently, the EPA Mid-Atlantic Region conducted a survey to determine the effectiveness of outreach in regards to the Region's College and University Initiative. The goal of this survey was to determine if any changes have occurred in the awareness of regulations and routine practices among college and university campuses, and to determine the effectiveness of EPA outreach efforts have been successful. College and university facility managers will be randomly and anonymously surveyed this summer to determine what actions were taken at their campus as a result of EPA’s compliance outreach efforts. 

Web-based Environmental Compliance Tool for Colleges
This new Web-based compliance assistance center that provides comprehensive environmental compliance assistance and pollution prevention information for colleges and universities. The center was developed by the National Association of Colleges and University Business Officials with support and funding from EPA.

The Web site makes it easier for school officials to learn more about applicable environmental regulations and ensure a safe and sustainable environment for their students, faculty, and staff. The on-line center provides information on topics including waste management, air and water resources, drinking water, and public safety. Viewers can find out what types of campus activities are regulated by EPA, see how best to comply with environmental regulations, query federal enforcement and compliance data, learn how to apply for federal grants, and e-mail comments to EPA on regulations under development.

Campus Environmental Resource Center: http://www.campuserc.org/ Exit EPA Click for Disclaimer

EPA Websites

EPA offers a great deal of compliance assistance and other environmental information and materials on the following Websites:

EPA’s Home Page
Enforcement Policy and Guidance
Compliance Assistance Home Page
Mid-Atlantic Region Enforcement and Compliance
Environmental Audits & Self-Disclosures
New England University Laboratory XL Project
Region 2 Healthcare Website

The Energy Star Program's fact sheet for Higher Education is on the Energy Star Buildings website. Colleges and universities can "Join the Partnership".  College case studies are available by clicking on Success Stories under Participants.

Other Websites

Environmental Auditing Roundtable Exit EPA Click for Disclaimer
The IIA Exit EPA Click for Disclaimer
American National Standards Institute Exit EPA Click for Disclaimer
International Organization for Standardization Exit EPA Click for Disclaimer
Registrar Accreditation Board Exit EPA Click for Disclaimer


EPA sponsors approximately 89 hotlines and clearinghouses that provide free and convenient avenues to obtain assistance with environmental requirements. Key hotlines that may be of interest to you include:

RCRA/UST/CERCLA Hotline (800) 424-9346
Toxics Substances and Asbestos Information (202) 554-1404
Safe Drinking Water (800) 426-4791
Stratospheric Ozone/CFC Information (800) 296-1996
Clean Air Technical Center (919) 541-0800
Wetlands Hotline (800) 832-7828

Compliance Assistance Centers

EPA has established national compliance assistance centers, in partnership with industry, academic institutions, and other federal and state agencies, that provide on-line and fax back assistance services in the following sectors which also may apply to multifaceted facilities.

Access to All Centers
Automotive (1-888-GRN-LINK) Exit EPA Click for Disclaimer
Local Governments (1-877-TO-LGEAN) Exit EPA Click for Disclaimer
Paints and Coatings Center Exit EPA Click for Disclaimer
Printing (1-888-USPNEAC) Exit EPA Click for Disclaimer

State Agencies

Many state agencies have established compliance assistance programs that provide on- site as well as other types of assistance. Please contact your local state environmental agency for more information. EPA's Small Business Ombudsman can provide you with State Agency contacts by calling 800-368-5888 nationally or 800-228-8711 in the Mid-Atlantic area.

Compliance Policies

EPA’s Compliance Incentives for Small Business Policy and Small Communities Policy are intended to promote environmental compliance among small businesses by providing incentives such as penalty waivers and reductions for participation in compliance assistance programs, and encouraging voluntary disclosure and prompt correction of violations. These policies can not be applied to an enforcement action that has already been initiated. Contact Ginger Gotliffe (202-564-2310) for information on the Small Business Policy and Ken Harmon (202-564-2310) for information on the Small Communities Policy.

Additional Information

Mid-Atlantic Office of Enforcement
Compliance and Environmental Justice

OECEJ Home | Mid-Atlantic Region Home

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