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Reducing Mercury in Schools

Organization(s) New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation
Project Description NYS DEC, along with NEWMOA staff, developed a curriculum for workshops to be held throughout the state. NYS DEC utilized an EPA-funded grant to conduct these workshops, entitled, "Reducing Mercury in Schools". The workshops presented information on health and environmental issues, as well as how to identify, inventory, collect, and properly dispose of mercury. The goal of these workshops is to promote the elimination of mercury in schools.

Twenty (20) workshops were conducted from October 2006 through June 2007. The goal to reach every county in the state was nearly reached, as 50 of 52 participated in the workshop program.

NYS DEC staff has also been working on a program with the Orange Ulster County BOCES to conduct a mercury inventory of at least 30 schools in the County and to conduct workshops to inform school leaders of the risks of having mercury in their schools.

NYS DEC staff created a demonstration project for the Rochester and Albany school districts to conduct mercury inventories, to remove and dispose of mercury that was identified, and to supply non-mercury alternatives for a select number of mercury devices that were identified, removed, and disposed of at the participating schools. The information obtained (types of mercury containing devices, quantity removed, cost of disposal, and cost of non-mercury replacement devices) during this project will be discussed at future workshops and will be distributed to schools throughout the state.

As a result of these workshops, a mercury inventory and removal program will be initiated at the Syracuse City School District. In addition, the workshops resulted in an announcement launching a mercury inventorying effort at New York City's 1,500 schools. A second grant has been received from EPA to continue this effort.

NYS DEC staff is also coordinating an EPA RCRA grant funding mercury cleanout for the Rochester City School District. This effort has already resulted in the removal of 225 pounds of mercury. There is also a planned mercury cleanout for the Albany County School District as well.

Project Contact
Name Deborah Knight
Phone 518-402-9469
Project Keywords
Areas of P2 Expertise Curriculum Development, Risk Management
Industrial Sectors Educational Institutions
Activity Keywords Funding and grants, Training/workshops
Newsletter Northeast Assistance & Pollution Prevention News - Vol. 16 No. 1, Spring 2006 [PDF]


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Last Modified 09/08/2009

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