UNH to Design State-of-the-Art Chemical Management System as Part of EPA Agreement

By Tracy Manforte
UNH News Bureau

DURHAM, N.H. -- In a settlement this week with the Environmental Protection Agency, the University of New Hampshire has agreed to pay EPA $49,000 and make environmental improvements on campus that will further protect the public health and safety of its students, faculty and staff.

The payment and improvements come as a result of a 1997 EPA inspection that found the university in violation of federal and state hazardous waste laws.

According to Bradford Manning, UNH director of environmental health and safety, the university took immediate action to make improvements following the 1997 inspection and has designed a project with a goal of making UNH a leader in chemical and hazardous waste environmental management. "The effort has been ongoing and will become very exciting over the next several months as our team of UNH environmental health and safety professionals and research computing specialists begin work on the Chemical Environmental Management System," Manning explains.

The state-of-the-art software management program will include a bar coded inventory of all chemicals on campus, a new purchasing system, and a waste tracking system, he continues. Specific benefits include quarterly reports to laboratory managers informing them of chemicals in their laboratories that are approaching expiration, and consolidated purchasing to prevent over-stocking of chemicals.

Manning says the plan also includes waste minimization strategies, training, inspections, self-assessments and audits.

The new software program, believed to be the first of its kind in higher education, will be fully operational within the next two years.

This project was undertaken in connection with the settlement of an enforcement action taken by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for violations of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. Over the last four years, EPA-New England has stepped up its compliance assistance programs for colleges and universities. Its goal is to bring all New England colleges and universities into compliance with federal environmental laws.

Editors and News Directors: For more information contact Brad Manning at 603-862-2571.

January 14, 2000

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