The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the federal agency that makes and enforces all nation-wide environmental laws. Some areas of PC life the EPA covers are:
- How to handle hazardous waste from science and photo labs
- How to handle recyclable wastes that contain hazardous substances such as batteries, pesticides, cathode ray tubes found in computer monitors, and mercury-containing devices such as thermometers, thermostats, barometers, and some light bulbs.
- How to operate PC’s 4 underground storage tanks, which supply the power plant with fuel and provide gas for college vehicles. The EPA’s laws are designed to prevent an oil leak from contaminating the soil and groundwater.
The Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is Rhode Island ’s state agency through which all state-wide environmental laws are established and enforced. Many of the DEMs regulations require RI businesses to comply with the same nation-wide environmental rules, only more strictly. For instance, RI’s hazardous waste and underground storage tank laws are more stringent than EPA requirements.
In addition, the DEM has laws which limit the air emissions from PC’s smoke stacks at the power plant. The college also has a plan in place to prevent gasoline vapors from being released into the atmosphere from its gas pump where vehicles are refueled.
The Narragansett Bay Commission (NBC) is the local sewer authority, covering an area of 10 towns and cities in the Providence area. The agency was established by our state legislature in 1980 to enforce EPA regulations pertaining to industrial wastewater, which were developed under the Clean Water Act. The agency also established wastewater regulations for commercial facilities such as PC. A few of the PC operations that fall under NBC regulation include:
- Science Labs
- Photography Labs
- Laundry Rooms
- Boiler and Cooling Tower operations in the Power Plant
- Vehicle Maintenance Garage
The Department of Transportation (DOT) is a national agency that covers a broad range of transportation issues. One such area is the shipment of hazardous waste. There are very specific regulations regarding how hazardous waste is to be packaged, labeled, and documented.
As you might expect, this is very important in avoiding a dangerous scenerio on our nations highways, and it helps the authorities in responding to accidents involving these dangerous materials.