University of Rhode Island Fined by EPA

April 9, 2001
The University of Rhode Island said yesterday it agreed to\r\npay $800,000 in penalties and improvements after EPA\r\nfound a raft of environmental violations on its campus.

The University of Rhode Island (URI) said yesterday it agreed to pay $800,000 in penalties and improvements after EPA found a raft of environmental violations on its campus.

EPA caught URI as part of a nationwide crackdown on the way higher education institutions handle hazardous materials.

The settlement is the largest of its kind for a New England university, EPA said.

During a two-day visit in 1997, EPA cited the Kingston, R.I.-based university for 19 violations, which included allowing chemicals to seep into a well and improperly storing transformers that contained toxic chemicals.

The University of Rhode Island said it will pay $250,000 in civil penalties and apply $550,000 toward a new hazardous waste holding facility and a wastewater treatment program.

University officials, however, said tests showed no contamination of ground water or any adverse health effects to any people.

URI is the fifth school to be fined by EPA in an enforcement action during the past five years.

EPA''s New England office also has taken action against Brown University, the University of New Hampshire, Yale University and Boston University for violations of hazardous waste management laws and the Clean Water Act.

Last November, the EPA proposed fines of up to $550,000 against Brown for 15 violations of environmental laws.

Boston University reached a settlement with the EPA in 1997 and agreed to pay $753,000 in cash penalties and environmental improvement costs.

by Virginia Sutcliffe

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Dave Blanchard, Editor-in-Chief: During his career Dave has led the editorial management of many of Endeavor Business Media's best-known brands, including IndustryWeekEHS Today, Material Handling & LogisticsLogistics Today, Supply Chain Technology News, and Business Finance. In addition, he serves as senior content director of the annual Safety Leadership Conference. With over 30 years of B2B media experience, Dave literally wrote the book on supply chain management, Supply Chain Management Best Practices (John Wiley & Sons, 2021), which has been translated into several languages and is currently in its third edition. He is a frequent speaker and moderator at major trade shows and conferences, and has won numerous awards for writing and editing. He is a voting member of the jury of the Logistics Hall of Fame, and is a graduate of Northern Illinois University.

Adrienne Selko, Senior Editor: In addition to her roles with EHS Today and the Safety Leadership Conference, Adrienne is also a senior editor at IndustryWeek and has written about many topics, with her current focus on workforce development strategies. She is also a senior editor at Material Handling & Logistics. Previously she was in corporate communications at a medical manufacturing company as well as a large regional bank. She is the author of Do I Have to Wear Garlic Around My Neck?, which made the Cleveland Plain Dealer's best sellers list.

Nicole Stempak, Managing Editor:  Nicole Stempak is managing editor of EHS Today and conference content manager of the Safety Leadership Conference.

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