Rutgers has become the first university in the nation to enter into a voluntary agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to audit its own laboratory and other facilities to ensure compliance
with a multitude of federal environmental laws.
Under the terms of the agreement, which was signed by Rutgers and EPA
Region 2 officials Nov. 28, the university will perform an extensive audit of its
operations. The plan calls for the university to correct any problems that may be
"This agreement provides an opportunity for the university to show real
leadership in its approach to managing environmental risk," said JoAnne
Jackson, senior vice president and treasurer. "This is a responsible approach to
identifying and resolving environmental concerns on campus."
"We are doing this to demonstrate our commitment to the environment and our
determination to be a good citizen and neighbor," said Michael Quinlan, director
of Rutgers' Environmental Health and Safety Office (REHS). The office oversees
the environmental programs at the university and provides training and
information on environmental management, regulation and compliance, as well
as on workplace health and safety issues.
These agreements, which are also used in industry, typically allow
organizations to review their own operations, identify violations and submit plans
for corrective action to the EPA. The audit process will begin this fall and
continue through March 2003.
Key areas to be evaluated in the audit process include:
transportation, storage and disposal of hazardous wastes
management of underground storage tanks
compliance with the Clean Air Act
management of asbestos
handling of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).
The audit will also evaluate the university's risk management plan, its use of
pesticides and its compliance with federal regulations governing lead-based
Information on the audit program will be provided on the REHS Web site,
and to individual units and departments that will be affected by