March 16, 2015

Healthy Kids Hero 2015 - A WOW Experience
For Release March 18, 2015  
Contact: Ellie Goldberg,

Healthy Kids Hero 2015
Gregg Smith, Director of Facility Services
and his Salt Lake City Schools Facility Team 
for their Facility Services Newsletter,  

March 18, 2015 is the 78th anniversary of the 1937 TX School Explosion that killed more than 300 people, mostly students.  Every year, in remembering the tragedy, I salute a Hero whose extraordinary sense of responsibility inspires excellence in school safety.  

Honoring an inspiring leader is part of a campaign to make March 18 a special day to bring "safety" from the margins to the core of school and community culture. (Lessons of the 1937 Texas School Explosion.)

The 2015 Hero is Gregg Smith, Director of Facility Services, and his Salt Lake City Schools Facility Team. 

Gregg and his staff have been widely recognized and congratulated for many successful exemplary programs and best practices in indoor air quality, integrated pest management, energy efficiency and recycling.   

However, this recognition applauds the Facility Services newsletter, Fresh Paint, for best practice in communication that builds and continuously strengthens a culture of responsibility and continuous improvement. Fresh Paint is an extension of Gregg Smith’s management philosophy “Communicate, Coordinate, Follow Through” and it is printed on every staff meeting agenda.

Read full story: Announcing Healthy Kids Hero 2015 

Manhole Covers Go 'Boom'
The Brian Lehrer Show, 3/9/2015.

Manhole Explosion Season. 2011 NYC manhole fires occurred in 2014. 100 already occurred this year.

The hazards of urban life. All the salt getting into our manholes will continue to corrode the wires down there, say the experts, and that's set to cause fires throughout the summer. Here's the science behind it.

Francisco de Leon, associate professor at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering, and Michael Clendenin, the director of media relations at Con Edison, discuss ...why the number spikes in the winter and how to stay safe as you walk by those ubiquitous manhole covers. 

March 14, 2015

Let’s make March 18 an annual day to honor those whose extraordinary sense of responsibility and leadership protects students and staff from chemical hazards and unhealthy school conditions. Teach Safety. Teach Safely. Update our values and technical skills to live safely with 21st century chemicals and technology.

Hero 2015: A Wow ExperienceGregg Smith, Salt Lake City Schools Facility Services 

Read: Mike Matley, Custodian, Westborough Public Library, Westborough, MA

Read: Roger Young Roger Young and Associates, Andover, MA

Janet Hurley 2013

Linda Stroud 2013
John Gann 2013
Aimee Code 2013
Dwight Peavey 2011
Ruth Breech 2009

Did you know...? MERCAPTAN.   

Natural gas and propane are colorless and odorless. The March 18, 1937 Texas School Explosion led to the law requiring Mercaptan to be added to natural gas as a warning odor.  

Other recommendations of the 1937 Court of Inquiry still needed in most schools:
1) technically trained administrators for modern school systems,
2) regular inspections and more widespread public education about managing hazards,
3) a comprehensive, rational safety code.

March 09, 2015

What is a gas emergency?
Gas safety emergencies can include but or not limited to some of the following:
  • You smell gas or suspect a gas leak.
  • There is low pressure (low flame) or no gas in all of your gas appliances.
  • Gas to an appliance or heating unit stays on and cannot be shut off.
  • There is a continuous flow of water leaking from your gas heating unit or water heater.
Environmental Defense Fund: Boston: Snapshot of natural gas leaks
If you ever smell gas, or have any reason to suspect a problem, experts say to immediately exit the building or area, then call the authorities. For information specific to National Grid, see their safety page.

What to do if you suspect a natural gas leak in your home WRCB-TV  (VIDEO)

March 07, 2015

Green Chemistry Update your school's values and technical skills to live safely with 21st century chemicals and technology.

The City of Los Angeles and NPPR's Green Chemistry Guide provides state agencies and technical assistance providers with tools and resources to support clients in greening their operations, supply chains, processes, and products. WSPPN will announce a series of webinars to begin in May that will cover the content of the manual chapter-by-chapter. Download Manual

confGreen Chemistry 101 Video Training Modules (Produced by the Western Sustainability and Pollution Prevention Network -WSPPN)

Learn the twelve principles of green chemistry taught during The Green Chemistry & Engineering Student Workshop ( Monday, June 17, 2013, Washington D.C.)  
The course content is provided by the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute whose mission is to catalyze and enable the implementation of green chemistry and engineering throughout the global chemical enterprise.  

This material is the property of the ACS GREEN CHEMISTRY INSTITUTE® and is being shared by WSPPN with permission. For a listing of upcoming trainings, visit their site. (
WSPPN thanks its sponsors:
The American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute (ACS-GCI)
The National Pollution Prevention Roundtable (NPPR)
The Washington State Department of Ecology