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Improving Chemical Management at Schools

Organization(s) Massachusetts Office of Technical Assistance
Project Description The Massachusetts Office of Technical Assistance (OTA) provided a grant program designed to improve chemical management at schools. The so-called APPLE (Academic Pollution Prevention - Learning from Example) program, through funding provided by EPA New England, awarded $1500 to 6 different teams. Each team consisted of a school or school district and a partner agency or organization (including local fire departments, boards of health, and regional environmental health organizations). Under the grant, these teams were required to:

- attend comprehensive environmental, health and safety training led by OTA technical assistance staff;

- conduct a chemical inventory of their school facility(ies);

- identify expired, unused, or highly hazardous chemicals and target them for proper disposal;

- develop a plan to improve chemical management and prevent further stockpiling of hazardous materials at the school(s); and

- produce a report documenting their chemical inventory and planning effort, so that other schools may use them as case studies.

Participants noted that it helped catalyze useful working relationships between schools and local resources that otherwise might not have happened. Beyond the APPLE program, OTA has conducted dozens of individual site visits to schools across Massachusetts to help them identify and address environmental, health and safety issues. Of particular concern are prevalent chemical management practices that result in the storage of large, aging, highly hazardous stockpiles of chemicals at school facilities. Preventive measures recommended by OTA include implementation of a centrally managed chemical purchasing policy, the use of environmentally preferable academic and facility maintenance products, and the redesign of science labs and other classroom activities to minimize the need for hazardous materials. OTA also advises schools on how to identify chemicals no longer used or that are too hazardous to maintain on-site and have them properly removed and disposed - an emphasis is placed on the need for extra care when inventorying chemical stockpiles or unneeded chemicals.

More Info www.state.ma.us/ota/support/apple_summary.pdf
 
Project Contact
Name Paul Richard
Phone 617 626-1076
E-mail
 
Project Keywords
Industrial Sectors Educational Institutions
Activity Keywords Funding and grants
 
Source
Newsletter Northeast States Pollution Prevention News - Vol. 10 No 2, Summer 2000 [PDF]

 

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