October 22, 2001
To: Campus Community
From: EVC John Simpson
Re: EPA Audit Notice
Many of you have heard by now the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has informed the University of California that it will audit environmental compliance of the entire UC system. I want you to know this is part of a larger EPA initiative to ensure the nationís colleges and universities are meeting their responsibilities under state and federal environmental laws. In this national compliance effort, EPA has pursued enforcement actions against institutions from New England to Hawaii, and many of these actions have resulted in significant penalties against the institutions involved.
At the University of California, EPA will focus on three programs:
- hazardous waste management;
For most campus units, the primary program will be that covering hazardous chemical wastes. EPA has cited universities for hazardous waste violations at numerous facilities, including laboratories, chemical waste storage areas, vehicle maintenance areas, art departments and athletic facilities. Under the UC initiative, the University has agreed to audit its own compliance with the applicable regulations and report findings to EPA. We anticipate EPA will then perform unannounced inspections at selected campuses to confirm the Universityís report.
I believe it is EPAís expectation that this audit process will initiate a permanent change in campus culture, effectively raising the bar on environmental compliance from this point forward. Therefore, it is imperative that all members of the UCSC community participate fully in compliance with the regulations. I would like for us to renew our commitment to integrating environmental health and safety protection principles and standards into our day-to-day work practices. Each department and individual must take ownership of his or her health, safety and environmental responsibilities.
Our Environmental Health and Safety office (EH&S) will be conducting the UCSC campus audit from mid-October through November. I will ask Vice Chancellor Tom Vani and Vice Chancellor Bob Miller to provide campus leadership in this matter. Please extend your full cooperation and support to the EH&S auditors who visit your workplace. In addition, I hope you will please take this opportunity to ensure:
- your employees are knowledgeable about and
EH&S staff are available to answer questions or provide assistance on these requirements.
Please join me in ensuring that UCSC continues to set an example of responsible environmental stewardship and acts as a leader in providing a safe and healthy workplace
John B. Simpson
cc: Chancellor M. R.C. Greenwood