University "Greens Up" with the EPA

First Educational Institution in the Nation to Sign Comprehensive Green Construction and Operation Agreement

MONTCLAIR, NJ - Montclair State University scored high environmental grades with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today by formally entering into an agreement to utilize some of the latest green technologies and practices at its 246-acre campus - making the University the first educational institution in the nation to enter into a comprehensive green construction and operation Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the EPA.

The agreement was officially signed at Montclair State's University Hall, the largest and newest academic building on campus, which is also LEED certified. LEED certification is a nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. The MOU spells out management and operational principles ensuring that Montclair State meets high environmental standards and reduces its carbon footprint.

Montclair State University Provost Richard Lynde remarked that the agreement is "historically significant" taking place during the University's centennial anniversary. "We are proud to be among the organizations that will work to ensure the earth's future."

"Montclair State University gets an A plus for its efforts to reduce the carbon footprint and the waste stream from its operations," said Alan J. Steinberg, Regional Administrator for the EPA. "This important agreement underscores innovation and a comprehensive commitment towards sustainable development. From its use of solar power and sophisticated compost program to its commitment to joining the WaterSense and WasteWise partnership programs, Montclair is looking greener everyday."

Highlights of the MOU incorporate initiatives that delineate the development and management of systems to ensure that green activities and sustainability will be integrated into all facility operations. This includes the usage of solar and steam energy; large-scale recycling of paper, plastic, and food residue; water and land conservation, as well as incorporation of green building technology and materials for new construction. Read about the details here.

"This MOU simultaneously represents recognition for Montclair's commitment to sustainability and the environment, our ongoing pledge to maintain and increase our effort for a greener campus in the future, and the critical need for academia and government agencies to work together for a sustainable future," said Robert S. Prezant, dean of the College of Science and Mathematics.

Among the many Montclair State University programs and activities that support environmental initiatives:

  • The only doctoral program in environmental management in New Jersey;
  • The 2008 Sokol lecture forum on the subject of climate change, which featured keynote speakers and panelists from academia, industry and government;
  • The Passaic River Institute, dedicated to the study and clean-up of the Passaic river;
  • The New Jersey School of Conservation at Stokes Forest State Park; and,
  • The only aerobic food composter on a college campus in New Jersey.

Fifth graders from the Rand School in Montclair New Jersey, an environment-focused magnet school, participated in the occasion, playing a podcast that they created for their environment club. Members of the community and the general public were invited to visit the campus for demonstrations of the composter, one of the key "green" features at Montclair State.

Learn more about Montclair State's commitment to environmentally sounds practices on the June 27 broadcast of WBGO Journal.