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EPA and Montclair State University Agree on High Environmental Goals

Release Date: 06/17/2008
Contact Information: Elias Rodriguez (212) 637-3664, or Paula Maliandi (973) 655-7900,

(Montclair, N.J.) Montclair State University scored high environmental grades with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today by formally entering into an agreement to utilize some of the latest green technologies and practices at its 246-acre campus. The Memorandum of Understanding spells out management and operational principles ensuring that Montclair meets high environmental standards and reduces its carbon footprint. Montclair becomes the first educational institution in the country to enter into a comprehensive green construction and operation Memorandum of Understanding with EPA. The agreement was officially signed at Montclair State University Hall, the largest and newest academic building on campus, which is also LEED certified. LEED certification is a nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.

“Montclair State University gets an A plus for its efforts to reduce the carbon footprint and the waste stream from its operations," said Alan J. Steinberg, Regional Administrator. "This important agreement underscores innovation and a comprehensive commitment towards sustainable development. From its use of solar power and sophisticated compost program to its commitment to joining the ENERGY STAR and WasteWise partnership programs, Montclair is looking greener everyday.”

“This memorandum of understanding simultaneously represents recognition for Montclair’s commitment to sustainability and the environment, our ongoing pledge to maintain and increase our effort for a greener campus in the future, and the critical need for academia and government agencies to work together for a sustainable future,” said Robert S. Prezant, dean of the College of Science and Mathematics.

Montclair State University Provost Richard Lynde remarked that the agreement is “historically significant” taking place during the University’s centennial anniversary. “We are proud to be among the organizations that will work to ensure the earth’s future.”

The landmark agreement details the development and management of systems to ensure that green activities and sustainability will be integrated into all facility operations. This includes the use of solar and recycled steam energy; large-scale recycling of paper, plastic, and food residue; water and land conservation, as well as incorporation of green building technology and materials for new construction.

Montclair State University Environmental Highlights:

Organic Food Waste Recycling
The University will increase their current food waste recycling efforts. Food scraps are collected from two kitchens on campus and processed in an in-vessel aerobic digester after being mixed with wood chips. In 2007, over 25,000 pounds of food scraps were turned into high-quality compost. Approximately 13 metric tons of CO2 emissions were avoided as a result of this project. The project will now be expanded to service the entire campus so that food scraps will be totally eliminated from its waste stream.

The Use of Green Products
80% of all cleaning products used on campus are green, including glass cleaner, all-purpose cleaner, neutral disinfectant floor cleaner, and degreaser. Under the agreement the percentage will increase this year as green floor stripper, floor wax, and carpet shampoo will be added. One hundred percent of office paper purchased by the University contains recycled fibers. The roll paper hand towels and toilet paper is made of recycled materials and the recycling centers throughout campus are made of recycled milk cartons.

Green Power & Energy Conservation
MSU will join the ENERGY STAR Program and will calculate their energy consumption, reduce energy usage by 10%, and educate students and employees on energy conservation techniques. The university will also research the feasibility of renewable energy sources such as wind power, fuel cells, and additional photovoltaic technology at Montclair State University.

Solar Energy
The university will continue to utilize a Photovoltaic Array that is generating an electric power supply for Finley Hall. The array produces approximately 3,450 kilowatt hours of electricity per year to the MSU grid with no pollution.

Energy CoGenerator
The Univeristy runs a CoGeneration Plant that produces steam and electricity for the University. Steam expended in the generation of electricity is cycled to campus buildings for heating in the winter and cooling in the summer. The Plant provides much of the electricity and all of the steam requirements to light, heat and cool the buildings on campus. Excess electrical power produced is sold back to PSE&G, approximately 8% of the electricity produced. Total steam production from the co-generator is over 160 million pounds per year. It does so, in part, by recycling its own waste exhaust and turning it back into useful energy.

Water Conservation
MSU will use WaterSense products, where appropriate, in the renovation or upgrade of existing buildings as well as in new buildings planned for MSU. The use of WaterSense approved products ensures that MSU will be conserving our precious drinking water sources.

Using Coal Combustion Products
In order to save CO2 emissions, landfill space, and energy, MSU intends to utilize coal combustion products, such as fly ash, in place of portland cement for any new appropriate construction projects. The amount and mixture concentrations of coal combustion products used will be determined at the time of construction.

WasteWise Municipal Solid Waste Recycling Program
MSU will join EPA’s WasteWise program that provides technical assistance to members for auditing municipal solid waste generation rates and developing municipal solid waste reduction and recycling plans. Members also set their own recycling goals.

Among the many Montclair State University programs and activities that support environmental initiatives:

The only doctoral program in environmental management in New Jersey;
The 2008 Sokol lecture forum on the subject of climate change, which featured keynote speakers and panelists from academia, industry and government;
The Passaic River Institute, dedicated to the study and clean-up of the Passaic river;
The New Jersey School of Conservation at Stokes Forest State Park; and,
The only aerobic food composter on a college campus in New Jersey.

To learn more about EPA partnerships and programs, visit: