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EPA Recognizes ADEM for Improving Chemical Safety in Schools

Release Date: 10/22/2009
Contact Information: Harris-Young, (404) 562-8421,

(Atlanta, Ga. – Oct. 22, 2009) The Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) is one of eleven organizations recently honored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for promoting responsible chemical management and helping remove potentially dangerous chemicals from K-12 schools in their communities.

ADEM was recognized for providing chemical removal services and chemical management guidance to the state’s K-12 schools. The agency has provided safe storage guidance; lab packed and removed waste chemicals for proper treatment and disposal; promoted micro-scale chemistry; and promoted partnering with Alabama Science in Motion, which has supplied lab chemicals and equipment and removed unused chemicals, experiment wastes, and unneeded equipment. The agency’s work has resulted in 8,640 pounds of waste chemicals removed from 36 Alabama schools. The ADEM also coordinated with Alabama Science in Motion to respond to an emergency request to assist a school with the cleanup, removal, and disposal of chemicals after the school was damaged by a tornado.

Working with EPA’s Schools Chemical Cleanout Campaign (SC3), the eleven organizations removed an estimated 70,000 pounds of potentially dangerous chemicals from approximately 300 schools. The entities were recognized for a range of activities contributing to a reduction in chemical hazards, including:

assisting schools in developing accurate chemical inventories,
removing and properly disposing of outdated, unknown, and unneeded chemicals, and
establishing sustainable programs to properly manage chemicals by training school administrators and teachers on responsible chemical management and green lesson planning.

EPA estimates that more than 33,000 middle and high schools across the country have potentially harmful chemicals that put students and staff at risk. SC3 works with schools, community organizations, and industry to help prevent chemical exposures through proper chemical management.

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