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College Tuition & Dynamite - How They Go Together

Wonder why your kids' college education costs so much? Earlier this month, the USEPA announceed that it wants over $97,000 in fines from Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York for violating RCRA hazardous waste laws. You know, the Ivy League, and all that, old boy.

Actually, Vassar's not in the Ivy League, which you probably could have figured out from the USEPA's action. Would an Ivy League school have violated hazardous waste regulations? Heck, Harvard can't even win football games, let alone pollute the environment. But I digress.

The USEPA reports that complaints with penalties totaling $2 million have been levied against 10 colleges and universities, and settlements reached total $1.3 million in penalties or supplemental environmental projects. The USEPA plans additional investigations and self-audit agreements under its Colleges and Universities Initiative.

Want to know how to avoid an investigation by the USEPA into your business, college or university? Try out the voluntary self-audit program. If you follow the guidelines and disclose violations (I know it sounds oxymoronic, but remember it makes sense because this is the government), you may be eligible for reduced penalties. You must follow the "Incentives for Self Policing: Discovery, Disclosure, Correction, and Prevention of Violations" policy (this one's for Region 2 - each Region has its own guidelines, but they're pretty much the same).

This whole program started in 1999 because a USEPA inspector found two bottles of Picric Acid in a college chemical storage lab.

Think dynamite. Then run.

Posted by J. Craig Williams on Thursday, November 20, 2003


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