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EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson Celebrates Innovative Partnership with Spelman College

Release Date: 02/22/2007
Contact Information: Laura Niles, (404) 562-8353,

(ATLANTA – Feb. 22, 2006) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, Stephen L. Johnson, made a historic visit to Spelman College to celebrate a new collaboration between EPA and Spelman. The visit is historic since it is the first time an EPA Administrator has visited a Historically Black College outside of Washington, D.C. to sign a collaborative Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The 2007 MOU between EPA and Spelman College will allow collaboration on environmental initiatives and affirm EPA’s commitment to partner in an effort to enhance environmental stewardship and sustainability.

“At EPA, we believe environmental responsibility is everyone’s responsibility, and we are grateful that Spelman College is equipping our nation’s future leaders with the tools to be effective environmental stewards,” said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. “Today’s agreement affirms our shared commitment to challenge our best and brightest to help build a healthier America.”

“We look forward to working with Spelman’s faculty, students, and administration to advance innovative thinking and research, continue challenging the bright minds of the future, and protect human health and the environment,” said Jimmy Palmer, EPA Regional Administrator in Atlanta. “Through these shared experiences, we can continue to build on our current successes.”

EPA and Spelman first established an MOU in 1993, resulting in many Spelman students being awarded internships and fellowships within EPA, and many going on to become EPA professionals. Spelman was among 23 colleges and universities chosen for the program. EPA has continued to work with Spelman on various environmental initiatives such as the Teacher’s Environmental Summer Institute; an Environmental Statistics course using State air data; and internships.

This MOU will be a more significant partnership upon which both organizations will build. Implementation of program activities in this MOU will promote equal opportunity in higher education; contribute to Spelman College’s capacity to provide high-quality education; and encourage the participation of Spelman College students and faculty in EPA programs.

Also, during the visit, Administrator Johnson served as a guest lecturer for Spelman’s political science environmental policy and politics class. The class examines the development of environmental policy in the United States and provides an overview and assessment of key U.S. and international environmental policy issues.

As part of the celebration, EPA recognized Spelman’s environmental initiative of breaking ground for its new “green” residence hall. The building, slated for completion in 2008, will reflect a high priority on health, reduced environmental impact and increased resource conservation.