Environmental & Occupational Safety is responsible for assisting the University in maintaining compliance with Federal, State and Local environmental regulations. To assist the University, the Environmental Management Plan provides information on various regulated activities, detailing which departments bear responsibility for aspects of compliance. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency manages 16 different environmental programs. Of those, 15 apply to Valdosta State University. Listed below is each program linked to a brief summary of each:


What is:


Asbestos is the name of a group of naturally occurring minerals used often in the construction and automotive industries. Asbestos has been identified as a carcinogen and is regulated as an air pollutant.

Asbestos is a hazard when damaged or disturbed. All renovation or demolition work involving asbestos must be performed by a licensed asbestos contractor. Records of waste shipments must be returned by the contractor within 45 days.

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Clean Air Act

The Clean Air Act prescribes permitting and emissions management for sources of certain air pollutants such as carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen. Certain combustion sources are covered under these regulations. Refrigerants used for HVAC and motor vehicle air conditioning are also regulated under this Act.

Some repairs or upgrades to existing combustion equipment may change permitting requirements. Addition of stationary combustion equipment may require permit alterations. For refrigerants, it is vital that all technicians working with regulated refrigerants be trained and have a copy of their training card available. Records of all refrigerant use and leaks must be maintained.

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Emergency Planning & Community Right to Know Act

The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) requires facilities that have certain chemicals listed as “Extremely Hazardous Substances” on-site at quantities at or above the Threshold Planning Quantity to perform emergency planning for chemical spills or releases and provide hazardous chemical reporting.

This regulation is one of the reasons an accurate chemical inventory is so crucial to the University since the regulation only applies if materials are on-site in greater than specific quantities.

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Hazardous Substance Release Reporting Program

The Hazardous Substance Release Reporting Program dictates the notification requirements when amounts of a hazardous substance greater than the reporting quantity are released.

Release has a very specific definition. All spills should be reported to Environmental & Occupational Safety as quickly as possible to allow determination of reporting requirements.

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Hazardous Waste

Hazardous Waste: The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulates the generation, management, treatment, storage, transportation and disposal of hazardous wastes, solid wastes and underground storage tanks.

All waste generated at the University must be evaluated to determine if it is or is not regulated waste. Wastes that are not regulated at your home may be regulated when at a place of business. In addition, NO ONE is permitted to sign a manifest for transportation and disposal of hazardous waste who has not received hazardous waste management training as well as hazardous materials shipping training.

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Lead Based Paint Program

The Lead-Based Paint Program, a part of the Toxic Substances Control Act, regulates lead based paint in target housing, defined as any housing constructed prior to 1978, except housing for elderly or persons with disabilities (unless any child or children 6 years of age or under resides or is expected to reside in such housing) or any 0-bedroom dwelling (any residential dwelling in which the living area is not separated from the sleeping area, like a dormitory). It also regulates lead-based paint in child-occupied facilities.

A Lead Paint Disclosure is required for any target housing owned or operated by the University. This includes Residence Hall Director apartments and any off-campus apartments. 

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Oil Spill Prevention, Control, & Countermeasures

Oil Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasures Plans are required for facilities which store quantities of oil above threshold limits as part of the Clean Water Act and the Oil Pollution Prevention Act. The regulations require pre-planning and mitigation to lessen the likelihood of oil spills reaching State waters.

This regulation defines oil as “oil of any kind or in any form,” and includes used cooking oil from kitchens and any oil stored in equipment such as transformers or elevators.

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Oil Storage

Oil Storage regulations apply to underground storage tanks and regulate the design, installation, management and closure of tanks with 10% or more of their storage capacity underground.  

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Pesticides are regulated under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act of 2003, the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996 and the Endangered Species Act of 1973. Under these acts, the sale, distribution and use of restricted pesticides is regulated.

All employees that use restricted pesticides must have the required training and certification or be working under the direct supervision of a certified person.  

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Safe Drinking Water Act

The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) is the primary federal law to protect and ensure the quality of drinking water in the United States. SDWA gives the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the authority to set standards for drinking water quality and to oversee the states, localities, and water suppliers who implement those standards.

SDWA requires that VSU take certain actions to protect drinking water and its sources, such as installing and maintaining backflow prevention devices that prevent chemicals or other contaminants from being pulled into the drinking water supply system.  The Act was originally passed by Congress in 1974 to protect public health by regulating the nation's public drinking water supply, protecting drinking water and its sources: rivers, lakes, reservoirs, springs, and ground water wells.

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Stormwater is regulated under the Clean Water Act to prevent pollution of surface waters by sediments and contaminants.

The regulation applies to the University in several ways. The University’s municipal separate storm sewer system will require permitting under the regulation within the next several years.. Also, permitting is required for all construction sites that will cause land disturbance of one acre or more of land area.

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Toxic Substance Control Act

The Toxic Substances Control Act regulates manufacturing, processing, distribution in commerce and use of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and other chemicals.

The University is required to label any PCB-containing electrical equipment. Also, all PCB-containing light ballasts must be properly managed.

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Universal Waste

Universal Waste: The Universal Waste Rules were added to RCRA to ease the burden of dealing with some of the most common types of hazardous waste that present a low hazard level. Some of the wastes that can be managed under this rule are fluorescent lamps, batteries containing heavy metals, mercury-containing thermostats, mercury-containing equipment and unused pesticides.

If universal wastes are not managed under these rules, they must be managed as hazardous wastes. Also, particular regulations as to the labeling and storage of these wastes apply.

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Used Oil Handling Rules

Used Oil Handling Rules require that all used oil (petroleum-based or synthetic) be stored, transferred and disposed of or recycled in a manner that prevents release of oil into the environment.

Mixing of a small amount of solvents (some degreasers and cleaners) in used oil will make the entire amount a hazardous waste, greatly increasing cost to handle and dispose of it.

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Wastewater: The Clean Water Act requires pretreatment of wastewater discharges to sanitary sewer systems from industrial uses (any non-domestic source of wastewater discharged into a publicly-owned treatment works (POTW))

This regulation requires that we obtain permission from the City of Valdosta’s publicly-owned treatment works for any non-sanitary discharges.

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