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FWD: EPA/AHA MOU Invite





Dear Fellow Technical Assistance Program:

The Environmental Leadership Council of the American Hospital Association 
and the Environmental Protection Agency is seeking nominations for 
participants in its workgroups.  As you may be aware, this past June the 
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the American Hospital Association 
(AHA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) outlining how they would 
work together to engage hospitals and other healthcare organizations in 
pollution prevention initiatives.  The MOU intends to give healthcare 
providers tools to minimize the production of persistent, bioaccumlative 
and toxic (PBT) pollutants (such as mercury, dioxin precursors, ethylene 
oxide) and reduce the total amount of waste generated.  These reductions 
benefit human health and the environment and will benefit the healthcare 
industry through reduced waste management costs.

The MOU directs the formation of a leadership council with representatives 
from the healthcare industry, state and federal governments and 
environmental organizations.  The “Council” is then responsible for 
directing the AHA in activities that will achieve the goals of the MOU.  I 
am honored to be a council member representing state government and 
technical assistance programs.  

The “Council” held its first meeting on October 12.  Members of the council 
include representation from:
AHA, EPA, the states, state & metropolitan healthcare, health-impacted 
groups, environmental services, engineering, materials management and the 
waste management industry.  This meeting was held to lay out the 
responsibilities in the MOU.  The council then formulated plans and charges 
for workgroups to enact the responsibilities.  

The next step is to identify individuals who would like to work on the 
various workgroups.  The calendar of workgroup activity is the period of 
January 1999-2nd quarter of 2000.  It is expected that the workgroups will 
meet regularly over the course of this time and report quarterly to the 
Council.  I believe a member of the council will be on each workgroup.  
Because this is a nationwide initiative, the meetings of the workgroups can 
be held via conference call, e-mail list-serve or other mechanisms that 
limit travel and resource time.  We are looking for individuals to 
participate in the following workgroups:


· Baseline Data Collection/Survey
· Communications/Awareness Campaign
· Establish Best Practices Data Base
· Mercury Elimination
· Waste Minimization (include. Chemical and Ethylene Oxide)
· Awards/Recognition
· Resource Directories
· Clearinghouse/Environmentally Preferable Purchasing
· Seminars and Education 

If you are interested or know of someone who may be interested in 
participating in this fabulous initiative to green healthcare, please 
contact me as soon as possible (via e-mail is fine).  Please provide me 
with your vital statistics including title, unique qualifications, address, 
e-mail, phone and work group of interest.  Also, please feel free to 
contact me with questions you may have.  The due date for nominations is 
November 15, 1998.  Thank you for your interest!  We hope to have an 
opportunity to work with you.



Sincerely,
Catherine Zimmer
Minnesota Technical Assistance Program
612/627-1905, <zimme053@tc.umn.edu>


P.S.  If you would like to review the full text of the MOU is can be 
accessed on-line at the EPA’s web site www.epa.gov/toxteam/trt_merc.htm or 
I can send you a hard copy.





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