PSU Reaches Settlement with EPA

November 15th, 2005 by Adam

Plymouth State University has signed a ConsentAgreement and Final Order with the Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA), settling the administrative complaint issued by the EPA in February 2005. As a result, PSU will pay a $25,993 civil penalty and complete a supplemental environmental project (SEP).

“We are very pleased with the outcome of our negotiation
with the EPA,” states PSU President Donald Wharton. “As I said when we received the complaint, the safety of our students, faculty and staff is paramount, and we were very diligent in addressing the concerns noted in the complaint immediately following the inspection two years ago. Those efforts, coupled with our SEP initiative to address the
hazardous material/waste management issues in New Hampshire’s secondary schools demonstrate our continued commitment to better serve the needs of our region.”

The original complaint was issued as a result of violations of the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. The noted violations were specific to the University’s handling of hazardous waste following an EPA inspection on June 9 and 10, 2003. An action agenda was developed by the University immediately following the
inspection, and PSU had already spent over $52,000 in corrective actions by the time the official complaint was received.

The SEP, which was developed by PSU with the support of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES), is a pollution prevention and reduction project. PSU, in cooperation with member schools of the New Hampshire College and University Compliance Cooperative (NHC3UA) and the NH DES will deliver a comprehensive
regional hazardous material/waste management training program to secondary school personnel across New Hampshire who use and manage these materials. The program will also arrange for the safe disposal of unusable and/or dangerous chemicals and other hazardous wastes for as many as 20 schools that may be identified as a result of the raining. The project is expected to cost $74,000 to complete.

Expected outcomes of the SEP include the following:
reducing the potential for serious chemical accidents in participating secondary schools; reducing the unsafe disposal of hazardous materials and waste, increasing the safety and management of hazardous materials and wastes, stored, used and generated at participating secondary
schools; and increasing the compliance with federal and state of New Hampshire regulations governing the management and disposal of hazardous waste.