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Tool Gives Colleges Environmental Compliance Edge

Colleges and universities nationwide are getting a new learning tool in the form of a compliance assistance center that will help them understand and comply with environmental laws.

The center, which will also benefit grade schools, will be the 15th in a network of EPA-supported centers for various economic sectors, including hospitals and health care centers, auto service and repair facilities and printers. For the past decade, EPA has supported compliance assistance centers to help environmental managers in key sectors improve and manage compliance more efficiently.

The center is part of an agreement between EPA and the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO). Under the agreement, EPA will provide $65,000 under phase one of the project, and up to $350,000 over the next five years.

Nationwide, more than 4,100 colleges and universities with total revenues of $270 billion employ 3.2 million workers. These facilities maintain many types of operations, such as laboratories, art studios, utility generation and transmission plants, dormitories, and water distribution systems. As a result, these institutions also face a range of environmental management challenges.

Harnessing the power of the Internet, this latest compliance assistance center will provide tools and information for improving environmental management on campuses. It will also offer a virtual campus tour online that will enable users to quickly and easily target priority issues.

The environmental performance of colleges and universities is profiled in EPA’s 2006 Sector Strategies Performance Report (pages 23-28). The report highlights proactive programs at a number of schools to reduce air emissions, minimize waste, conserve water, and practice green construction.

A copy of the report: http://www.epa.gov/sectors/performance.html

More information about EPA’s compliance assistance centers: http://www.epa.gov/compliance/assistance/centers/index.html

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