The Department of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) at SUNY Geneseo exists to assist the various campus departments navigate and understand their responsibilities under Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety laws and regulations.
From art studio waste management to fluorescent lightbulb recycling, and potential exposures to everything from Asbestos to Zinc, campus activities and operations are subject to numerous federal and state regulations.
EHS provides assistance in three general categories of laws and regulations:
Most environmental regulations follow a similar evolutionary path. A law is passed in Washington, DC., outlining the requirements of the law and assigning, typically to the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the authority to promulgate federal regulations for implementing those requirements. These regulations take a minimum of two years to navigate the regulatory promulgation process. When finalized, the regulations provide the basis for "how to comply" with the law. Federal laws and regulations often require the states to develop programs that are "at least as stringent" as the federal version. States require another minimum of two years to promulgate their state-specific "least as stringent" programs for which they may then receive approval from the EPA to implement and enforce. This approval may be for an entire program, such as the RCRA Hazardous Waste Program, or for a portion of a program, such as the Clean Water Act. In all cases, the federal EPA retains oversight and enforcement capabilities.
Occupational Health and Safety regulations are typically referred to as "OSHA regulations". However, in the public sector in NYS that is an incomplete reference. Within the NYS public sector, the OSHA regulations are enforced by Public Employees Safety and Health Administration (PESH). The Occupational Health and Safety regulations for public employees in NYS may be the federal OSHA regulation adopted verbatim (most safety standards), or a more stringent version (Permissible Exposure Levels), or even a regulation that is specific to the New York State public sector (Right-to-Know).
Snowstorms, ice storms, power outages and even fires. These are all emergency situations that have and may again occur on the SUNY Geneseo campus. While the weather cannot be controlled, the negative effects these storms have on campus activities and operations can be minimized through preparation. The SUNY Geneseo campus has a Emergency Planning Team which has developed campus-wide response and communication procedures to be implemented in emergency situations. Each campus department is responsible for developing their own Departmental Emergency Preparedness Plan.