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NEW YORK CITY-Stony Brook University Hospital in Stony Brook, NY signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Environmental Protection Agency to reduce its environmental impact “through a comprehensive agreement that outlines goals and strategies for energy and water conservation, solid waste management, green design and the use of environmentally-friendly products. The EPA tells GlobesSt.com that Stony Brook is the first hospital–not only in the New York area, but the entire nation–to have worked on such a “comprehensive agreement.”

The “EPA hopes that the agreement with Stony Brook University Hospital will serve as a model for other hospitals that are looking to reduce their environmental impacts. We would be eager to work with other hospitals that are interested in making their facilities and practices more sustainable,” says EPA spokesperson John Senn.

The hospital will track the results of the efforts and submit reports to the EPA every six months. In a statement, EPA acting deputy regional administrator Barbara Finazzo says “this comprehensive agreement not only addresses broad issues like energy and water usage, but also those unique to the health care sector, like using environmentally-friendly medical supplies.”

Stony Brook University Hospital CEO Steven L. Strongwater says in the same statement that the “MOU formalizes the hospital’s continued commitment to be an environmentally conscious healthcare institution.”

Highlights of the agreement include, among other things: Energy Star membership and training, recycling tons of plastic and cardboard, joining the EPA’s ‘WasteWise’ program for water conservation, the designing of all new buildings to meet US Green Building standards, clean construction efforts, the reduction of sterile blue wrap by switching to reusable rigid containers for packaging, transporting and storing medical instruments, the elimination of mercury and plastics containing PVC/DEHP with a commitment to PVC/DHEP free purchasing to contractors and vendors, the continued reprocessing of medical equipment, including oxi-sensors, blades, burrs, bits, guide wires and catheters, and utilizing disposable needles.

The hospital joins other groups in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan region who have similar agreements with the EPA, including: the New York Jets and Giants for its new Meadowlands Stadium, The Mets for the teams new Citi Field stadium, the Destiny USA mall in Syracuse, the real estate firm, Cushman & Wakefield, Montclair State University in New Jersey, Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ, St. Johns University in Queens and Raritan Valley Community College in Branchburg, NJ.

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