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Federal Way Public Schools Receive an “A” in Responsible Chemical Management


Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Education are celebrating Children’s Health Month by promoting responsible chemical management at Decatur High School in Federal Way, Washington. EPA, the Department of Education, and other federal partners are working to prevent chemical accidents at schools across the nation, through the Schools Chemical Cleanout Campaign (SC3).

Across the country, EPA estimates that nearly 33,000 middle and high schools have outdated or improperly stored chemicals onsite, whether in maintenance closets or classrooms, that could endanger students, school staff, and surrounding communities. EPA’s Schools Chemical Cleanout Campaign (SC3) helps schools safely manage chemicals and avoid costly, and possibly dangerous, accidental chemical spills. The campaign provides schools with a free Web-based toolkit and connects school officials with local experts and industry leaders in chemical management who can assist in safely removing the chemicals from school property.

“The Local Hazardous Waste Management Program in King County (LHWMP) and Federal Way Public Schools are at the forefront of responsible chemical management,” said Elin Miller, EPA Regional Administrator in Seattle. “Together, SC3 partners, programs like LHWMP, and schools like Decatur High School are taking proactive steps to keep our schools safe, so our children can learn and grow into tomorrow’s leaders.”

Over a three-year period, LHWMP’s Rehab the Lab Program made nearly 600 site visits to King County schools to help them address environmental health and safety risks posed by laboratory chemicals. More than 39.5 tons of hazardous materials were safely removed from schools and properly disposed as a result of this program. EPA recognized LHWMP, Decatur High School, and the Federal Way School District today for their accomplishments in improving chemical management practices in schools.

Susan Bodine, EPA Assistant Administrator of the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response encouraged other schools to develop their own programs to help prevent chemical accidents, spills, and fires. EPA also recognized new SC3 community partners and industry leaders from across the country for their pioneering work in assisting schools to remove dangerous chemicals.

EPA also recognized community partners and industry leaders that have recently joined SC3 to help schools remove dangerous chemicals. These partners include the North American Hazardous Materials Management Association, MKC Enterprises Inc., Employers Mutual Casualty Companies, BASF Corporation White Stone site, Pollution Control Industries, and the Local Hazardous Waste Management Program in King County, Washington. SC3 industry partners can offer a broad range of services to schools, from conducting chemical inventories to training school personnel in responsible chemical management.

SC3 partners that are renewing Performance Track members can now use their efforts under the SC3 program towards fulfilling one of their goals. Performance Track is a public-private partnership that encourages continuous environmental improvement through environmental management systems, community outreach, and measurable results.


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