Brown will spend $285,596 to help make Providence public schools more environmentally friendly as part of a recent settle-ment with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Under the agreement, announced in November, Brown will also pay $80,000 in fines to the EPA and National Pollution Funds Center of the U.S. Coast Guard. Brown had faced a fine of up to $500,000 after the EPA found fifteen environmental violations during a 1999 inspection ("How Green Is Brown?" Elms, January/February 2001). At the time, the EPA accused Brown of improperly storing hazardous waste and failing to protect ground and surface water from oil pollution.
The settlement will fund projects including: "microscaling" chemistry labs at four city high schools, which involves recalibrating laboratory equipment and experiments to reduce the quantity of chemicals used in the labs while preserving the experiments' educational value the one-time disposal of hazardous and non-hazardous materials currently stored in the high schools providing environmental-compliance training for high school chemistry teachers through Brown's Office of Environmental Health & Safety the computerization of chemical-purchasing and tracking systems for Brown and the Providence public schools.