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Boston/Greater Boston Green Municipal Government Project

Project Details

Year: 1998
Location: Newton, Boston, Greenfield, and Lawrence
Project Manager: Paul Burns
Partners: Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group (MASSPIRG) and Toxics Action Center (TAC).

As part of a 1998 TURN Project, Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group (MASSPIRG) and the Toxics Action Center (TAC) launched the Green Municipal Government Project. Recognizing that local governments have a role to play in reducing public health and environmental threats from toxic chemicals, these two groups worked with Newton, Boston, Greenfield, and Lawrence to promote the use of safer alternatives.
 Specifically, the project focused on information about pesticides, toxic cleaning products and PVC. They also assisted towns in creating model policies that can be replicated by other municipalities. In addition, information was spread to other municipalities via the Massachusetts Municipal Association, Massachusetts Association of Health Boards, the 1998 Forum on Hazardous Household Products, and the Toxic Action Center Conference.

Project Outcomes

Newton: In Newton, MassPirg worked with the Newton IPM Committee to implement IPM in all city-owned buildings and grounds. They also launched a pilot IPM program in three elementary schools. As a result of these and other efforts, Newton adopted a Town IPM Policy Meanwhile, MassPirg's efforts expanded to statewide promotion of IPM.

The Town of Newton also agreed to participate in testing of green cleaning products that helped determine what vendors would be in the State's Environmentally Preferable Product Guide for state contracts. Cambridge also agreed to participate in this initial testing.

Newton received commendation from MassPIRG and Toxics Action Center fro their commitment to greener products and services.

Lawrence: Toxics Action Center met with the City Council regarding the use of green products and IPM practices. Green purchasing and the Green Municipal Government Project was also presented at a Forum on Recycling. The matter was referred to the School Committee.

Boston: a meeting was organized with Mayor Menino's staff regarding all of the toxics addressed through the grant project. The Chief of Environmental Services had been working on green purchasing and IPM and agreed to write a letter endorsing IPM in schools. The Executive Director of New England Pest Control was also called in as a consultant in the school project. Further work on this subject was carried out through the Healthy Schools Network.

Greenfield: MASSPIRG spoke to municipal officials in Greenfield regarding state IPM policy for all state buildings and the forthcoming Enviromentally Preferable Product State Contract. As a result of the outreach efforts, the Franklin Solid County Waste Management District submitted a TURN Grant Proposal to implement green purchasing in Greenfield's municipal buildings. That project is currently ongoing and will be featured on this web site.

This page updated Monday July 23 2018