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Contacts: Peter Genzer, (631) 344-3174  |  Written by Diane Greenbergprinter iconPrint

Brookhaven Lab Wins Awards for Pollution Prevention and Promoting Environmental Stewardship

UPTON, NY - The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory has won two awards for pollution prevention and promoting environmental stewardship: DOE's Pollution Prevention Star Award and the White House Closing the Circle Award. Both awards will be presented to Brookhaven Lab in Washington, D.C., on June 7 and June 12, respectively.

"Brookhaven Lab has received accolades from our regulators, from DOE, and now from the White House for our environmental management system, which sets up rigorous performance measures to ensure environmentally responsible operations. Just as we are proud of our world-class science, we are proud of our accomplishments in the environmental area," said Robert Lee of Brookhaven's Environmental and Waste Management Services Division.

Brookhaven has been a leader among DOE laboratories in developing and implementing a certified environmental management system. In 2001, Brookhaven Lab achieved ISO 14001 registration for its entire site, becoming the first national laboratory to obtain third-party registration to the International Organization for Standardization's globally recognized environmental standard. ISO 14001 requires an organization to identify potential environmental impacts and establish controls needed to minimize impacts, to monitor and communicate environmental performance, and to establish a formal process for continually improving the system.

To improve its environmental stewardship, Brookhaven Lab has voluntarily participated in several environmental programs, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) National Performance Track Program, the National Partnership for Environmental Priorities, the Federal Electronics Reuse and Recycling Program, the EPA Mercury Challenge, and the Federal Electronics Challenge.

From 2003 to 2006, the Laboratory has achieved significant benefits through participation in these programs. These include:

  • 40 percent reduction in the site-wide inventory of mercury
  • 90 percent reduction in the on-site inventory of PCBs
  • 35-ton reduction in ozone-depleting substances, such as refrigerants
  • 34 percent reduction in atmospheric emission of radionuclides from the Brookhaven Linac Isotope Producer, which produces radiopharmaceuticals
  • Recovery of 42 acres on-site for restoration as viable forest from building demolitions and prescribed burns, which opens up forest floor for new growth
  • 101,400 pounds of electronics recycled (during 2006)
NPEP award employee contributors

Click on the image to download a high-resolution version. Brookhaven employees who helped the Laboratory to attain DOE's Pollution Prevention Star Award and the White House Closing the Circle Award are: (from left) John Taylor, Basic Energy Sciences Directorate; Ed Murphy, Plant Engineering Division; Deborah Bauer, Environmental & Waste Management Services Division (EWMS); George Goode, EWMS; John Selva, EWMS; Walter Shaffer, Collider-Accelerator Department (C-A); Peter Pohlot, EWMS; Joel Scott, C-A; Melvin Van Essendelft, EWMS; Anna Bou, Mark Davis, Leo Palumbo, Steve Ferrone, Keith Klaus, and Bob Lee, all of EWMS. Click image to download hi-res version.

The Laboratory has a long history of pollution prevention successes and has received numerous DOE Pollution Prevention Awards. In 2004, Brookhaven, along with other laboratories managed by Battelle, received the White House Closing the Circle Award for leadership in environmental stewardship and support of environmental management systems. In addition, Brookhaven won the 2004 Long Island Pine Barrens Environmental Stewardship Award and the 2006 National Partnership for Environmental Priorities Achievement Award.

Brookhaven Lab is routinely requested to share its successes in pollution prevention and participation in voluntary environmental initiatives. For example, the EPA has asked Laboratory environmental experts to speak on its environmental management system as it applies to analytical laboratories in private industry, and Brookhaven has assisted the EPA in its recruitment efforts to attract new facilities to its Performance Track program, which recognizes environmental performance among U.S. participating facilities. In 2005, the Laboratory participated in developing the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's Environmental Leaders Program. In addition to reporting routinely its environmental status to DOE, Brookhaven regularly gives presentations on its environmental management system challenges and successes to the local community as well as to local, county and state regulators.

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