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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

URI teams with RISD, DEM for pollution prevention
Focus is on developing Environmental Management System for RISD

KINGSTON, R.I. -- October 5, 2000 -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded a $50,000 grant to the University of Rhode Island's Center for Pollution Prevention, in conjunction with the Rhode Island School of Design's Environmental, Health & Safety Department. The grant will be used to develop an environmental management plan for RISD, in collaboration with the R.I. Department of Environmental Management.

URI, RISD and DEM are evaluating health and environmental issues at the art school, particularly those related to artist paints, solvents and solid wastes. A formal environmental management system for the school will be developed in an effort to reduce or eliminate wastes and to minimize risks to human health and the environment.

"While RISD has already begun to address many of these issues, the grant will provide the resources and expertise necessary to formally develop more efficient ways to monitor and address waste and safety issues at the school," said Eugene Park, assistant research professor of chemical engineering at URI and co-director of the Center for Pollution Prevention. "In addition, the plan that we develop can then be used as a model for use by other schools and universities."

The process will begin with onsite auditing of various RISD departments, and culminates with a DEM-approved plan that sets forth policies, protocols, chain of responsibility, accountability and training.

According to Al Cantara, RISD's environmental health and safety manager, "Rhode Island School of Design has set the goal of becoming a world-class leader of environmental, health and safety issues in the arts. To become recognized as such, RISD's programs and facilities must become models for environmental stewardship. RISD's administration, students, faculty and staff embrace the concept of protecting our environment and ensuring safe working conditions."

The environmental management system plan should be completed within one year.

In addition to the RISD project, the EPA grant also directs the URI Center for Pollution Prevention to assist DEM in the development of an environmental and safety certification program for Rhode Island autobody shops.

For Information: Gene Park 874-4303, Todd McLeish 874-7892


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