The 2018 Clean Air Award goes to Eastern Washington University
Eastern Washington University is the 2018 Clean Air Award Recipient
Eastern Washington University (EWU) is the recipient of the 2018 Clean Air Award, presented annually by Spokane Clean Air to an organization that demonstrates innovation, leadership and a strong commitment to reducing air emissions.
"The Clean Air Award is given to publicly express our appreciation for innovation and to encourage others to follow suit," said Julie Oliver, Executive Director of Spokane Clean Air.
EWU has a student body of more than 13,500 and employees approximately 1,900. Their campus is roughly 155 acres with 58 buildings. The University has its own heating plant and fueling facilities for their service fleet. Most services required by the University are handled by University shops.
Most of their buildings have propane-powered back-up generators supplying emergency power. There is one diesel powered back-up generator for the Rozell Heating Plant. Propane is preferred over diesel for many reasons, including virtually zero emissions and no risk to contaminate soil or water due to spills. Generators are set to start automatically when an interruption is detected to the buildings power and shut down automatically when power is restored. All generators are tracked by hour and fuel use to determine greenhouse gas discharge.
EWU’s boilers are kept running at a high efficiency because of their attention to preventative maintenance and their use of available technologies. Year-round maintenance efforts reduce stack and heat loss, improves heat transfer and recovers waste heat.
The university had been using solvent stills which generate volatile organic compounds. With chemical substitution and thrifty management their use of the stills was minimal and eventually eliminated.
EWU’s commitment to environmental stewardship can be found in other areas throughout campus:
- Their Chemistry Department has embraced green chemistry, using available alternatives to toxic chemicals. They use the smallest quantities possible of all chemicals, which has significantly reduced hazardous materials and off gassing generated.
- Their grounds department mulch most of their grass clippings and leaves. The soil is tested to see what nutrients, if any are needed. They fertilize only when needed with fertilizer made with no or very little phosphorus. The department has also been using more sustainable native plants in new or renovated buildings that are more drought-tolerant, pest resistant and require less maintenance.
- Roos Field --their well-known football field with its famous “Red” turn is artificial, which eliminates the need for fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides.
- EWU’s custodial department shifted from toxic volatile chemicals to environmentally friendly products to avoid employee exposures to dangerous chemicals and decrease toxic chemical disposal.
- EWU has positively influenced transportation behavior. They’ve actively provided a commute trip reduction program since the law first came about in the early 1990s. They offer preferred rideshare parking, subsidized vanpool and transit, secured bicycle parking, showers and lockers, a Guaranteed Ride Home program and employee recognition and incentives. In just the past year alone, in 2017, there CTR efforts have resulted in the elimination of approximately 1.2 million SOV miles! This equates to nearly 6 tons of carbon monoxide NOT going into our air.
Spokane Clean Air commends and congratulates EWU for their ongoing commitment to reduce air emissions, which benefits us all. GO EAGS!
Pictured above is Julie Oliver, Executive Director, presenting the award to Chad Johnson, Eastern’s Environmental Health & Safety Manager, who accepted the award on behalf of Eastern.