Visiting the Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) web site (www.turi.org) this morning, I was alarmed to see a pop-up alert from Liz Harriman, notifying users that the Governor of Massachusetts has line-item vetoed the budget for TURI. One of the leading centers for cleaner production research is on the verge of being eliminated!!!
Perhaps this is old news to some of you, but news travels slowly to the dusty regions of the west.
Anyway, after talking to my friend and colleague Janet Clark, I found that there is still a glimmer of hope to preserve what is arguably one of the most important national resources to the pollution prevention community. Established in 1989, TURI's staff list is filled with names that are instantly familiar to anyone who has attended an NPPR meeting or spent any time at all reading P2TECH. Ken Geiser, Jack Luskin, Todd MacFadden, and of course Liz and Janet have been instrumental in advancing the technology, practice, and policy of pollution prevention and cleaner production over the years. Even if you do not know these folks personally, if you are working in pollution prevention, they deserve your support.
Here at ChemAlliance, we provide p2 and compliance assistance to the chemical manufacturing industry. We provide this service free of charge, on a national basis. This means we have to find ways to stretch a relatively meager budget in order to provide the maximum impact given the dollars we have available.
Like many other technical assistance providers, I rely on a number of other programs as resources in order to help stretch my budget and to avoid re-inventing the wheel. Over the years, I've come to count on TURI as an authoritative source of information on cleaner production, and a source of innovation in areas (like Green Chemistry) that are important to me and to my clients. This includes chemical manufacturers located and employing people in Massachusetts, as well as throughout the US. The closure of TURI would be a loss to all of them.
I know that times are tough throughout the US, and that many state and regional P2 programs are experiencing problems with their budgets. But if you feel, as I do, that TURI has earned a role as a resource of national importance, I would urge you to drop what you're doing and take a moment to express your support for TURI to the Honorable Thomas Finneran, Speaker of the House, phone 617-722-2500 or fax 617-722-2008. Let him know why TURI is important not only to Massachusetts, but to the nation. Time is of the essence -- Janet informs me that this budget action will be coming to a vote on Tuesday, July 15 so you have only a few days to act.
I realize this is not a "typical" P2TECH post, and I apologize in advance to those of you who might feel it's inappropriate. For those of you who value TURI, though, please take this opportunity to stand up and be counted.
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