Public Safety Management Project
Contact: Lori Wright
UNH Media Relations
Oct. 6, 2004
The proposed national public safety management system will be based
on the UNH Chemical Environmental Management System (UNHCEMS), a
comprehensive online system that tracks hazardous materials that
was developed by the UNH Research Computing Center (RCC).
UNHCEMS is a Web-based system allows public and private research
institutions to manage hazardous chemicals and radioactive materials
stored at multiple locations on their campuses. UNHCEMS tracks thousands
of hazardous materials.
UNHCEMS holds great promise to improve tracking, information exchange
and emergency response activities. This project will expand the
capacity of UNHCEMS and will develop site-specific educational curricula
for law enforcement personnel using the integrated software application.
UNHCEMS features online modules for: chemical inventory management,
hazardous waste management, materials safety data sheet (MSDS) tracking,
particularly hazardous substances tracking, informational and emergency
signage, emergency response information, and reporting and administrative
features. The emergency response information module allows emergency
personnel to quickly view chemical hazards and signage by location,
to review MSDS and fact sheets for chemicals by location, and to
access this data optionally on CD-ROM.
A case study of UNHCEMS published by the Environmental Protection
Agency was included in the EPA’s best management practices
catalog for colleges and universities regarding homeland security.
UNHCEMS was developed as part of a settlement agreement with the
agency following an EPA inspection at UNH five years ago. At the
time, UNH was found to have violated the Resource Conservation and
Recovery Act regarding waste disposal in laboratories.
“This online chemical management system holds great potential
to help universities and colleges improve tracking and management
of chemicals and wastes,” says Robert W. Varney, regional
administrator of EPA's New England Office. “We've found in
our inspections that many colleges are wasting significant amounts
of chemicals because they do not have systems in place for accurately
recording the identity, quantity and location of materials. This
system holds great promise to reverse this problem, resulting in
campuses that are safer and better for the environment.”
Brown University and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst
are using UNHCEMS, and numerous universities and hospitals have
expressed interest in the system. In addition, as part of the USA
Group International Partners for Peace program, a government delegation
from Macedonia was presented the system as an option for part of
its national emergency response system.