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Allston Collision Center Recognized for Environmental Leadership

Contact: Karen Angelo at 978-430-6303, Karen@turi.org.

April 22, 2015, Allston, Mass. – The Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA) program and state legislators today presented Allston Collision Center with an award in recognition of the company’s environmental leadership.

“Allston Collision Center’s management and staff have implemented many practices to improve environmental health and safety in its auto body shop,” says Tiffany Skogstrom, Environmental Analyst at the state’s Office of Technical Assistance. “The family business is a model example for other small companies in protecting the health of workers and the surrounding community.”

One of nine companies across Massachusetts being recognized as a “TURA 25th Anniversary Leader,” the third generation family-owned business uses water-based paints reducing the need for solvents, which saves more than 1,200 pounds of volatile organic compounds from being released. For cleaning paint guns, Allston Collision Center installed a system that recycles paint thinner for reuse, reducing waste and worker exposure to harmful chemicals. The company also uses the most current recycling systems for thinners, solvents, aluminum, sheet metal, plastic bumpers and batteries.

“We have always been open to new and safer ways to do business,” says Elaine M. O’Neill, President of Allston Collision Center. “Going green is important to the environment, our kids and our neighborhood. I really believe it’s the right thing to do.”

Paul Chaet is the third generation owner of the company. His grandfather Dave Chaet opened the shop in 1928 in the Boston area. By 1961, the family moved the operation to its current location of 420 Cambridge Street, Allston, with Paul’s father, Mick, at the helm. Since 2000, Paul Chaet and Elaine O’Neill have been operating the company.

“We are appreciative of the TURA 25th award that recognizes our accomplishments. We will continue to dedicate ourselves to eco-friendly technologies for our collision repair shop,” says O’Neill.

The awards and facility tours taking place from March through May showcase environmental accomplishments—reducing the use of toxic chemicals, reducing waste and conserving energy and water—since the Toxics Use Reduction Act was enacted into law by the Massachusetts legislature in 1989.

About the Toxics Use Reduction Act Program

The Toxics Use Reduction Act does not restrict chemical use but requires companies to evaluate toxic chemical use, submit usage reports to the state and assess the implications of reducing use by making process changes or switching to safer alternatives. Data show that Massachusetts companies continue to make progress in reducing toxic chemical use and waste: between 2000 and 2012, companies reduced use by 23 percent, waste by 42 percent and on-site releases by 73 percent.

Celebrating 25 Years
 Twenty-five years ago, the Massachusetts legislature passed landmark legislation—the Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA). Today, the TURA Program is considered a model environmental policy by other states and countries. The three agencies below have provided training, grants, technical assistance and support to help companies reduce toxic chemical use and costs, improve health and safety and compete globally as more international regulations restrict the use of toxic substances.

  • Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Provides education, training, and grants for Massachusetts industry and communities; sponsors research and demonstration sites on safer materials and technologies; provides policy analysis; and manages the TURA Science Advisory Board.
  • Office of Technical Assistance & Technology (OTA). A non-regulatory agency within the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs that provides free, confidential, on-site technical and compliance consultations to Massachusetts businesses and institutions.
  • Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). Certifies Toxics Use Reduction (TUR) Planners, receives and reviews toxics use reports submitted by companies, provides guidance, takes enforcement actions, and collects chemical use data and makes it available to the public.
Allston Collision Center Event Photos