Mission Statement

The activities of the Environmental, Health and Safety (EH&S) Research Center focus on minimizing potential EH&S impacts associated with current and future photovoltaic energy systems and applications. This objective is accomplished by proactive research, industry outreach, and technical communications.

The overall goal is to preserve the safe and environmentally friendly nature of PV and minimize EH&S risks and associated costs, to ensure the public support and economic viability of PV systems. Also, the Center serves as the world’s best source on PV EH&S, providing accurate information related to EH&S issues and perceptions. This activity supports the overall communications and outreach objectives of the Solar Program.

Goals and Objectives incorporated into its strategic mission include:

  •  Construct leading edge experiments and user facilities on schedule, within budget and in an environmentally and fiscally responsible manner.
  • Facilitate the application of knowledge and technology.
  • Reduce uncertainties, prioritize risks, and eliminate imminent threats of our activities, to improve environmental quality.
  • Reduce adverse environmental impacts associated with energy production, delivery and use.
  • Help industry shift from waste management to resource efficiency and pollution prevention.

More specifically, with respect to the first goal "construct leading edge..." BNL activities provide direct support to DOE Headquarters, NREL and SNL to ensure that the operations of their own facilities and those of their contractors are operated in an environmentally responsible manner. In order to "facilitates the application of knowledge," the BNL program has undertaken various efforts including the publication of reports in the peer reviewed literature, the presentation of an EH&S Tutorial for engineers at the Photovoltaic IEEE Specialists Conference, the maintenance of an electronic bulletin board for the photovoltaic community interested in EH&S issues, the conduct of EH&S; audits and accident investigation reports, and the hosting of working.

In order to "reduce uncertainties, prioritize risks ..." the BNL EH&S; program prepares detailed evaluations of the EH&S; issues associated with new materials, technologies and processing options, and strategies for managing the risks they present.

In order to "reduce the adverse environmental impacts associated with energy production, delivery and use," BNL has been assisting industry to identify and examine potential health and safety barriers and hazard control strategies for new photovoltaic material, process, or application options before their large-scale commercialization.

Finally to help industry shift from waste management to pollution prevention, the BNL EH&S; program assists industry to identify and evaluate the most cost effective strategies, ranging from material substitution and recycling to "end-of-the pipe" controls. Prior evaluation of hazard can also reduce potential costly risks to health and environment. Data, documentation, models and analyses developed from this program can assist DOE in complying with its programmatic responsibilities including preparation of NEPA documents and development of necessary monitoring, site evaluation and control-technology data.

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Last Modified: July 8, 2010
Please forward all questions about this site to: Vasilis Fthenakis