RICHLAND, Wash. In recognition of its exemplary environmental compliance record, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory announced adoption of a new incentive-based waste management program for high performing facilities under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agencys National Environmental Performance Track program. The program, made up of an elite nationwide membership, establishes a set of waste management procedures designed to create more flexible waste requirements and maximize overall cost savings, which benefits taxpayers.
PNNL is the first Department of Energy facility, and one of only a few facilities nationwide, to implement extended waste accumulation practices.
As a prerequisite to joining Performance Track, PNNL established and implemented an environmental management system designed to reduce waste generation and hazards associated with the waste. PNNL generates small quantities of byproduct wastes resulting from research and maintenance activities conducted at the lab. Under the new EPA incentive program, PNNL may now accumulate wastes at its north Richland campus for up to 180 days, twice the period allowed under standard regulatory requirements.
According to Alice Ikenberry, manager of PNNLs Environmental Management Services Department, extended accumulation of waste before offsite shipment has several environmental advantages, including consolidation of waste into fewer containers and the reduction of the number of offsite waste shipments.
At the same time, extended accumulation reduces our waste management costs, which provides more funding for laboratory research projects, said Ikenberry.
The 180 day extension demonstrates achieving the Gold Standard for our laboratories, which is taking that next step beyond just complying with the environmental requirements, said Arnold Edelman, acting associate director for Safety, Security and Infrastructure for the DOE Office of Science. He noted that PNN
Contact: Geoffrey Harvey
DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory