EPA honors USPS vehicle maintenance facilities in N.Y.

RP news wires, Noria Corporation
Tags: maintenance and reliability

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized the environmental achievements of the U.S. Postal Service vehicle maintenance facilities in Albany and Syracuse, N.Y., by welcoming the facilities as new members of the National Environmental Performance Track program.

These Post Office facilities in Albany and Syracuse are purchasing retread tires, which contain 70 percent recycled materials, rather than new tires; and they are improving electronic processing of documents and correspondences to reduce the amount of paper used. Both facilities are members of EPA’s Wastewise and National Partnership for Environmental Priorities program, under which they successfully recycled the mercury and lead from fluorescent lamps and mercury containing equipment.

“Performance Track members continue to contribute notable reductions in water use, hazardous waste generation, emissions of greenhouse gases and energy use,” said EPA regional administrator Alan J. Steinberg. “Members of the program have distinguished themselves as environmental leaders, and deserve EPA’s continued support and recognition for their efforts.”

In the Performance Track Fifth Annual Progress Report, which details members' environmental accomplishments from 2000 to 2005, the cumulative results show members reducing their water use by 3.5 billion gallons, greenhouse gas emissions by 97,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, hazardous waste generation by 130,000 tons, and non-hazardous waste generation by 600,000 tons. Members have also restored or protected more than 14,000 acres of wildlife habitat. There are more than 450 member organizations nationally, with 58 in New York, New Jersey and Puerto Rico.

New members of the Performance Track Program were honored this month in a national ceremony in New Orleans. The annual awards ceremony is a gathering of top environmental performers, EPA and state leaders, and other program partners who strive for environmental excellence through innovation and partnerships. Other new Performance Track members from the state honored at the ceremony in New Orleans included Covanta Energy Corporation plants in Onondaga, Huntington and Babylon, and the Swiss Re building in Armonk.

The Performance Track Program, which began in June 2000, is a voluntary public-private partnership dedicated to encouraging members to go beyond compliance with environmental regulations. In order to be accepted into Performance Track, facilities must have a history of sustained compliance with federal and state environmental requirements. They must also adopt and implement an Environmental Management System (EMS), an organization’s systematic effort to meet its environmental requirements and improve its overall performance, demonstrate at least two past environmental achievements and commit to four future improvements. In addition, they are required to have a public outreach program with a commitment to reporting their progress to the public.

Members in the Performance Track program receive a range of incentives such as public recognition and low priority for routine EPA inspections. Facilities are also eligible for several kinds of administrative flexibility and streamlined administrative requirements that reduce costs and enable members to achieve better environmental results. In addition, members benefit from special services, including a learning network composed of top environmental performers that has a mentoring program, tele-seminars, EPA roundtable discussions and newsletters. The EPA is currently accepting applications for acceptance into the program. For more information, visit http://www.epa.gov/performancetrack.

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