Press Release TURA 20th Anniversary Leaders
Results show that improving public health and environment increases business competitiveness
Lowell, Mass., March 5, 2010 – Ahead of its time 20 years ago with the passage of the Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA), Massachusetts continues to lead the nation in reducing use, waste and emissions of toxic chemicals. To recognize these accomplishments at the source, state environmental agencies and legislators will go onsite to Massachusetts companies and the Cape Cod Cooperative Extension to highlight and honor each for their performance and leadership.
The recognition of “TURA 20th Anniversary Leaders” will be presented by the Toxics Use Reduction Institute, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and the Office of Technical Assistance (the TURA Program). It was these agencies that joined forces in 1989 to implement the landmark law, which did not ban chemical use but required companies to evaluate toxic chemical use, submit usage reports and assess the financial implications of switching to safer alternatives or making changes in production.
It was a winning strategy, with participating Massachusetts companies voluntarily reducing use by 41 percent, waste by 71 percent and on-site releases of toxic chemicals by 91 percent. Under the updated 2006 TURA law, companies have also expanded their accomplishments to conserving energy, materials and water.
“We always respected the connection between economics and the environment,” said Michael Ellenbecker, professor at UMass Lowell and director of the Toxics Use Reduction Institute who was a contributor to the TURA legislation. “Over the years, companies have saved millions of dollars through the use of safer chemicals and more efficient production processes as well as conservation efforts, resulting in significant reductions in workplace and community chemical exposures. The TURA Program remains a powerful public/private partnership.”
For their role in these achievements, the following companies will be honored by the TURA Program:
• Allegro MicroSystems, Inc. Worcester*
• Analog Devices, Wilmington*
• A.W. Chesterton Company, Groveland*
• Cape Cod Cooperative Extension, Barnstable County*
• Churchill Coatings, Grafton
• Cobham Defense Electronics Systems, Lowell*
• Ferraz Shawmut, Newburyport*
• Gentex Optics, Dudley
• L & J of New England, Worcester*
• Lightolier, a Philips Group Brand, Fall River
• MD Stetson, Randolph*
• Millipore, Bedford*
• Moreno Auto Body, Roxbury, and the Boston Public Health Commission*
• PerkinElmer, Salem*
• Raytheon Company, Waltham and Andover*
• Skyworks Solutions, Woburn
• Vicor Corporation, Andover
A recognition ceremony and site tour at facilities* during March and April will showcase areas of accomplishment, including the use of safer manufacturing materials, waste reductions and energy savings.
About the Toxics Use Reduction Act Program
Twenty 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 establish new green markets.
• 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.