EPA to Help Local Governments Meet Environmental Goals

July 19, 2002

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Water has selected eight organizations from across the nation to become Environmental Management Systems (EMS) Local Resource Centers where local governments can go to make their operations more environmentally friendly.

"What this means is local communities can treat their wastewater more effectively and efficiently and reduce costs to taxpayers," said G. Tracy Mehan, assistant administrator for Water. "EMS is a powerful management tool that in the end helps the local citizens enjoy a cleaner and healthier environment."

For years private industry has been using the EMS management tool to reduce pollution and protect public health and now local governments can use EMSs in the same way.

These EMS Resource Centers will be located in existing academic or other nonprofit institutions that have a proven track record of providing high quality environmental assistance.

EPA will be working with the Global Environment And Technology Foundation to help local agencies adopt the EMS tool for their operations. Each center will also share information on its activities through a publicly available on-line National Clearinghouse of EMS information for public agencies.

According to Larry Chalfan from the Zero Waste Alliance, one of the organizations selected to be Local Resource Center," As an EMS Local Resource Center, Zero Waste Alliance can realize its mission of supporting organizations in the creation of a more sustainable future. This means we must try to make EMS equally as appealing and accessible to public agencies as private agencies and we intend to do just that."

The following have been selected local Environmental Management Systems Resource Centers:

• Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind.;

• University of Wisconsin in Menominee, Wisc.;

• University of Florida in Gainesville, Fla.;

• Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta;

• University of Massachusetts in Lowell, Mass.; 01854

• Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission –

Small Business and Environmental Assistance Division in Austin, Texas;

• Virginia Tech University in Roanoke, Va.;

• The Zero Waste Alliance in Portland, Ore.

The National Clearinghouse of EMS information for public agencies is available online at www.peercenter.net.

Source: EPA

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