Friday, November 19, 2010

EPA releases draft guidelines for locating schools

Is your school district looking for a site for a new school? If so, new draft voluntary guidelines from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency may be helpful in choosing a site with the lowest environmental threat. "EPA is offering tools to local officials and community residents looking to build schools that foster healthy, productive learning environments," EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said in a news release. "This guidance will help address the pressing environmental issues that parents, school boards and local residents often consider when making investments in their local schools. By offering guidance on long-term environmental and health concerns, it will also help local communities plan ahead and reduce the risk of costly changes down the road."

EPA says the draft guidelines are based on four principles:
  • Safe and healthy school environments are integral components of the education process,
  • School siting decisions should help increase the livability and sustainability of neighborhoods and communities,
  • The process should consider the environmental health and safety of the entire community, including disadvantaged and under served populations
  • The environmental review process should be rigorous, thorough, well documented and include substantive and ongoing public involvement.
The draft guidelines are available for public comment for 90 days. (Read more)

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