EPA Helps Local Governments Meet Environmental Goals

The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) 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.

EPA will work 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 an online National Clearinghouse of EMS information for public agencies. This clearinghouse is available at www.peercenter.net.

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

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 local Environmental Management Systems Resource Centers are:

  • Purdue University, Indiana Clean Manufacturing Technology and Safe Materials Institute, School of Civil Engineering; Contact: Dr. Lee Corson at (765) 463-4749
  • University of WisconsinStout, EDA University Center; Contact: Joe Benkowski at (715) 232-5023
  • University of Florida, Center for Training, Research, and Education for Environmental Occupations; Contact: Dr. William Engel at (352) 392-9570
  • Georgia Institute of Technology, Center for International Standards and Quality; Contact: Paolo Chiappina at (404) B894-0968
  • University of Massachusetts at Lowell; Contact: Dr. Robert Wagner at (978) 934-2635
  • Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission, Small Business and Environmental Assistance Division; Contact Isreal Anderson at (512) 239-5318
  • Virginia Tech University, Center for Organizational and Technological Advancement; Contact: Robert Herbert at (540) 853-8276
  • The Zero Waste Alliance, Portland, Oregon; Contact: Larry Chalfan at (503) 279-9383
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