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EPA Announces New Compliance Incentive Program for Colleges and Universities

Release Date: 02/28/2007
Contact Information: Laura Niles, (404) 562-8353,

(ATLANTA – Feb. 28, 2006) EPA has launched a College and University Compliance Incentive Initiative to encourage colleges and universities in the Southeast to conduct voluntary environmental self-audits. The program’s Audit Policy provides incentives for regulated entities that voluntarily discover, promptly disclose, and expeditiously correct non-compliance. Disclosures meeting the necessary conditions of the policy may receive a partial or complete reduction in financial penalties.

    Higher education institutions are as much a part of EPA’s regulated community as business, industry and government facilities and must comply with federal and state environmental laws. If not, they are subject to enforcement penalties. Among the potential environmental problems at colleges and universities are improper handling, storage and disposal of hazardous waste; laboratories and chemical storage; air quality problems; storm water runoff and wastewater discharge; inadequate monitoring of underground storage tanks; sewage treatment facilities that are not operating properly; and improper removal of lead-based paint and asbestos.

    To assist colleges and universities in complying with environmental laws and regulations, EPA, in partnership with state environmental agencies, conducted seven compliance assistance workshops for colleges and universities. The workshops were held throughout the Southeast to provide an opportunity for all colleges and universities to participate and gain valuable information on the environmental expectations of their facilities. Compliance assistance efforts for colleges and universities began in 2002 and ended with a final workshop held in Atlanta on September 20-21, 2006.