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UMass Lowell Recognized by EPA for Lead-Free Project

Lowell, May 8, 2006--University of Massachusetts Lowell Professor Dr. Sammy Shina of Framingham and Toxics Use Reduction Institute project manager Greg Morose of Haverhill received an Environmental Merit Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday, May 4th at a Faneuil Hall ceremony.

Directed by Shina and Morose, the New England Lead-Free Consortium, a group of industry, academic, and government organizations, was honored for a five-year effort to find new lead-free alternatives for the electronics industry. Lead, a toxic chemical that has been linked to health and behavioral problems, is commonly found in solder used in disposable electronic equipment that ends up in landfills and incinerators. This project is expected to remove approximately 6,500 lbs. of lead per year from the Massachusetts electronics industry. The replacement of lead is helping Massachusetts companies stay competitive globally where lead in electronics is being phased out.

"Excellent technical work, great team building skills, and a lot of sweat equity went into this project. Sammy, Greg and all the Consortium members are to be commended for staying the course and making Massachusetts safer for everyone," said Michael Ellenbecker, Director of the Toxics Use Reduction Institute.

U.S. EPA National Administrator Stephen Johnson was the keynote speaker. Robert W. Varney, regional administrator for EPA's New England Office, presented the awards to 19 winners from New England. In a statement from the EPA, Varney said, "These awards are among the highest honors EPA can bestow to recognize environmental accomplishments. The work of these individuals, organizations and businesses reflect the best attributes of New Englanders, working to find solutions to environmental issues. I offer my gratitude for their extraordinary contributions in protecting the environment."

For more information about the EPA Environmental Merit Awards, visit: http://www.epa.gov/region1/ra/ema/index.html