Environmental

Risk Management, Environmental Health & Safety (RMEH&S) assists the Central Michigan University community in promoting a safe and healthful environment.  For quick reference, we have developed an Environmental Function Flow Chart and an Environmental Response Flow Chart.

The Environmental Program assists with the following:

Asbestos

Asbestos is a fibrous material which was installed in many University buildings because of its characteristics of strength, heat resistance and chemical resistance. Exposure to asbestos can result in serious health problems. Proper control measures must be in place to prevent the disturbance of asbestos-containing materials (ACM) and to prevent potential exposure to airborne asbestos.  However, the mere presence of asbestos in a building does not mean the health of the building occupants is endangered. 

In general, exposure may occur only when the ACM is disturbed or damaged in some way to release particles and fibers into the air (United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2014).  Unauthorized removal or disturbance of ACM is not only dangerous, it is also illegal.  Studies have shown that individuals exposed to asbestos fibers over a long period of time may develop lung cancer, Asbestosis, and Mesothelioma. The typical latency periods for these diseases range from 10-40 years.

Rather than removing all ACM upon discovery, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends a pro-active, in-place management program (United States Environmental Protection Agency, 1990). The EPA only requires asbestos removal in order to prevent public exposure to asbestos, such as during building renovation or demolition.

Central Michigan University has maintained an effective in-place management program for several years. This program ensures that the day-to-day management of University owned buildings minimizes the release of asbestos fibers into the air, and ensures that when asbestos fibers are released, either accidentally or intentionally, proper control and clean-up procedures are implemented. In order to follow this guideline, the University's asbestos management program involves identifying existing asbestos and maintaining it in place in good condition.

Risk Management, Environmental Health & Safety is responsible for the following:

  • Maintaining and effective Asbestos Management Plan;
  • Maintaining and updating CMU's Asbestos Building Inspection Reports;
  • Coordinating with other CMU Departments and outside vendors during projects involving the disturbance of asbestos materials;
  • Coordinating with other CMU Departments to pre-approve asbestos contractors and consultants;
  • Providing asbestos training to in-house staff, and
  • Ensuring contractors and consultants comply with all applicable rules and regulations.

Contractors and consultants interested in providing asbestos related services to CMU must first be prequalified by RMEH&S.  For prequalification information, visit the Vendor Information page.

PCBs

Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) are a group of man-made organic chemicals consisting of carbon, hydrogen and chlorine atoms. The number of chlorine atoms and their location in a PCB molecule determine many of its physical and chemical properties. PCBs have no known taste or smell, and range in consistency from an oil to a waxy solid.

PCBs belong to a broad family of man-made organic chemicals known as chlorinated hydrocarbons. PCBs were domestically manufactured from 1929 until manufacturing was banned in 1979. They have a range of toxicity and vary in consistency from thin, light-colored liquids to yellow or black waxy solids. Due to their non-flammability, chemical stability, high boiling point and electrical insulating properties, PCBs were used in hundreds of industrial and commercial applications including:

  • Electrical, heat transfer and hydraulic equipment
  • Plasticizers in paints, plastics and rubber products
  • Pigments, dyes and carbonless copy paper
  • Other industrial applications

Although no longer commercially produced in the United States, PCBs may be present in products and materials produced before the 1979 PCB ban. Products that may contain PCBs include:

  • Transformers and capacitors
  • Caulking
  • Electrical equipment including voltage regulators, switches, re-closers, bushings, and electromagnets
  • Transformers and capacitors
  • Oil used in motors and hydraulic systems
  • Old electrical devices or appliances containing PCB capacitors
  • Fluorescent light ballasts
  • Cable insulation
  • Thermal insulation material including fiberglass, felt, foam and cork
  • Adhesives and tapes
  • Oil-based paint
  • Plastics
  • Carbonless copy paper
  • Floor finish

CMU has retained a consulting firm to develop a PCB standard operating procedure for evaluating caulking on campus.

Lead

The EPA's Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule, commonly known as RRP, requires that firms performing renovation, repair and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in target housing, child care facilities and pre-schools built before 1978 have their firm certified by EPA, use certified renovators who are trained by EPA-approved training provides and follow lead-safe work practices.  Target housing refers to housing in which a child under the age of 6 can live. 

At CMU, Northwest Apartments, Kewadin Village, and the Resident Hall Director Apartments are subject to the EPA RRP Rule.  Since children under the age of 6 cannot live in Res Halls (outside of RHD apartments), these buildings are exempt from the RRP rule, but are still subject to OSHA regulations during renovation and maintenance activities.

CMU has retained a consulting firm with State of Michigan Certified Lead-Based Paint Inspectors to inspect the above referenced facilities.  These reports can be found by clicking on the appropriate link below:

As an EPA Certified Firm with Certified Renovators, lead-based paint work can be conducted in-house by CMU staff.  When lead-based paint work is contracted out, CMU retains contractors who meet the same requirements.  For more information, see the links below:

Risk Management, Environmental Health & Safety is responsible for the following:

  • Providing training to in-house staff, when necessary;
  • Maintaining exposure determination records;
  • Coordinating with other CMU Departments to ensure vendors who work with lead on campus are properly trained;
  • Conducting and maintaining inspection reports, and
  • Ensuring compliance with EPA's Renovation, Repair and Painting rule (see below).

Indoor Air Quality

Indoor air quality (IAQ) refers to the air quality within and around buildings and structures, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of building occupants.  CMU is committed to providing a safe and comfortable working environment and has developed a standard operating procedure for IAQ investigations.  At the end of the procedure is a questionnaire.  This questionnaire is to be completed by the employee(s) affected by the IAQ concern after their supervisor has conducted his or her initial investigation and no cause was found.  Completed questionnaires can be emailed to environmental@cmich.edu.

Environmental Compliance

Risk Management, Environmental Health & Safety is also responsible for environmental compliance of a variety of areas.  For more information on select areas, see the links or written plans below:

 

If you have questions or need further information please contact the Risk Management, Environmental Health & Safety Office at (989) 774-7398 or CMUEHS@cmich.edu. ​

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