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Environmental BMPs for Artists

Organization(s) Narragansett Bay Commission
Project Description The State of Rhode Island, and particularly the cities of Providence and Pawtucket are home to numerous artists and art studios as well the Rhode Island School of Design and several other colleges and universities with large art departments. Activities conducted by individual artists, art studios, and educational institutes can generate a variety of wastes, such as unused paints and spent solvents that can have an adverse impact on the environment. The NBC, recognizing the problems associated with managing small quantities of numerous hazardous materials, has developed a set of draft voluntary Environmental Best Management Practices (EBMPs) for the art community. These EBMPs describe common sense methods of minimizing waste generation and help commercial artists, studios, and educational institutes better comply with state and federal environmental regulations. On June 13, 2002 the NBC held a project "stakeholder" informational meeting on the development and use of these EBMPs. During the meeting representatives from two area colleges, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, a local art supply facility, and the Rhode Island State Council for the Arts re-viewed the draft EBMPs and discussed environmental problems and issues facing the state's artist. As a result of this meeting NBC revised the draft EBMPs to reflect many of the issues and concerns raised by the project stakeholders. A second stakeholder meeting was held in mid-July 2002. In an another effort to get the word out on this project, NBC sponsored an art show at the TseTse Art Gallery located at 101 Orange Street in Providence. The art show, which ran through the third week of July, included environmental art exhibits created by local artists and award winning drawings created by local school children as part of an NBC environmental art contest. NBC anticipated having a finalized EBMP document ready for distribution by September 2002.

As part of a project to develop a series of Environmental Best Management Practices (EBMPs) for select industrial and commercial sectors, RI's Narragansett Bay Commission completed a final draft of an EBMP for Artists and Art Studios on 2003.

In order to better address the environmental concerns of the local art community, NBC formed a stakeholder workgroup in June of 2002 consisting of representatives of the art community, RI DEM, the Rhode Island Counsel of the Arts, and the Rhode Island School of Design. Throughout 2002-2003 this group has met on numerous occasions on the development of this EBMP. The largely voluntary practices that the EBMP recommends are offered as a way to protect health, save money, and reduce pollution in a sector that may not respond well to traditional command and control regulatory oversight. The EBMP touches on many topical issues, including fire safety and metals in paint, and is intended to serve as a prototype for other art sectors in the future. The draft EBMP will be posted on the NBC's website at www.narrabay.com/publications.asp. A special survey on the Rhode Island State Council on the Art's website will link to this draft document. The purpose of the survey is to get feedback from the art community about the draft and offer them a chance to join a focus group to offer input that maximizes the EBMP's usefulness to its target audience.

More Info www.narrabay.com/publications.asp
Project Contact
Name Barry Wenskosicz
Phone 401-461-8848 ext. 329
Project Keywords
Processes Painting and Coating Processes
Areas of P2 Expertise Environmental Management Systems
Industrial Sectors Educational Institutions
Activity Keywords Conference, Research and development
Newsletter Northeast States Pollution Prevention News - Vol. 13 No. 2, Summer 2003 [PDF]


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