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Back to Policy Section VI: General Administration
Section VI: General Administration

Policy Number: VI-21.00(A)

University of Maryland Policies and Procedures for Environmental, Safety and Health Management

(Approved by the President )


Through its teaching, research and service as the flagship campus of the University System of Maryland, and as the State's land-grant university, the University of Maryland, College Park, is a prominent contributor to the policies and practices that enhance the global environment. It is therefore highly appropriate that UM conduct its internal operations in the spirit of this leadership role, and in compliance with all applicable laws, regulations and appropriate recommendations.

All operations should be a model of quality in environmental, safety and health (E,S&H) practices. The following principles have been established to guide faculty, staff, and students in these practices at UM:

  1. Support University policies which place the institution at the forefront of quality initiatives which promote awareness and compliance at all levels of the institution;
  2. Practice personal accountability for responsible behavior within the University community;
  3. Comply with applicable laws and regulations and where appropriate other institutional guidelines and recommendations;
  4. Participate in the development of sound institutional policies and regulations;
  5. Support University policies that place UM at the forefront of environmental quality initiatives that reduce hazardous waste generation and conserve University resources; and
  6. Encourage those who do business with the University to apply these principles.


This policy is intended to provide guidance to UM faculty, staff, and students and to provide a framework for the development and implementation of University policies and procedures regarding compliance with federal, state and local regulations for environmental protection (air, water, soil), occupational safety, public health, biological safety, fire safety, hazardous materials management; and UM risk and insurance management. This policy is not intended to apply to UM policies and procedures regarding public or personal security or crime prevention.


UM is a complex organization consisting of thirteen colleges/schools and extensive support functions necessary to the operations of the institution. From the legal, regulatory, and public perspectives, the University is one corporate entity and is held accountable as such by federal and state authorities.

For these reasons, UM has the responsibility to establish policies and provide resources to ensure compliance with all environmental, safety and health laws. For purposes of this responsibility the following structure is utilized:

  1. Department of Environmental SafetyThe Department of Environmental Safety (DES) is responsible for the administration of the campus policies and is accountable for the University's compliance with all environmental, safety and health regulations. It carries out this mission by providing technical, regulatory and related management services to the colleges/schools and departments who have a shared responsibility for operational accountability for regulatory compliance. DES assists the colleges/schools and departments in the development and implementation of programs, including training, emergency response, and analysis of specific problems so that compliance is practical at the unit level. DES is the unit responsible for all official University contact with external governmental regulatory agencies concerned with workplace health, safety and environmental compliance. In consultation with University legal counsel and, as required, representation by the Office of the Attorney General, DES shall coordinate all University responses to regulatory agencies' inquiries, complaints, lawsuits and other formal proceedings. By working with a Policy Committee, DES is instrumental in the design and implementation of an effective environmental safety program. DES reports to the Vice President for Administrative Affairs.
  2. Colleges/Schools and Other University DepartmentsIt is the responsibility of each college/school and administrative department to conduct its operations in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations, and to implement the University's environmental, safety and health policies. With the professional guidance and assistance of DES, these responsibilities include, but are not limited to: training; informing employees about workplace hazards and safety procedures; conducting inspections and correcting violations; investigating incidents and employee complaints; enforcing policies; and appropriately documenting activities and processes.Each Dean and major operating unit director shall designate an Environmental, Safety and Health Coordinator to be responsible for the coordination of operations within the colleges/schools or major operating unit departments. The Environmental, Safety and Health Coordinator shall have delegated authority from the Dean, Chair or Director for managing environmental, safety and health activities in the college/school or department, including authority to establish procedures, investigate complaints and incidents, and audit performance. The Environmental, Safety and Health Coordinator will have the responsibility to report activities and unresolved compliance issues to the delegating authority as well as the Director, DES. The departmental E,S&H Coordinators serve as associates and adjuncts to DES professional staff within the scope of this policy.
  3. University Environmental, Safety and Health Policy CommitteeThe University E,S&H Policy Committee serves as the primary source of policy guidance on all matters pertaining to environmental, safety and health compliance and related regulatory developments. The University E,S&H Policy Committee is responsible for ensuring that the University responds appropriately to assure compliance with current and potential environmental, safety and health regulations. The Committee is charged with examining the gradations of response possible for a given environmental, safety and health regulation and determining the most appropriate course of action for the institution and its employees. In this context, the Committee recommends University policy for approval by the President, and monitors developments to ensure that University policies are observed and remain current.The University E,S &H Policy Committee is chaired by the Vice President for Administrative Affairs, and includes broad representation by members of the faculty and administration. The Associate Provost for Research and Dean of the Graduate School serves on the committee to ensure Research and Graduate Faculty input on all committee issues.
  4. Environmental, Safety, and Health Operations CommitteeThe E,S&H Operations Committee is an institutional group of operations managers from the colleges/schools and departments who work with the Director of DES to ensure that activities and services are efficiently provided to the University. The Operations committee also evaluates University-wide environmental, health, and safety issues and proposes recommended policy actions to the Policy Committee.The E,S&H Operations Committee is also responsible for monitoring the external regulatory environment and University practices to ensure that problems are appropriately identified and response strategies developed. The E,S&H Operations Committee is chaired by the Director of DES. The E,S&H Operations Committee reports through the Director of DES to the Vice President for Administrative Affairs.
  5. Special CommitteesFaculty-chaired committees overseeing aspects of the UM Environmental Safety Program impacting research activities (Biological and Chemical Hygiene Committee, Institutional Biosafety Subcommittee, Radiation Safety Committee) shall maintain their role of faculty governance and shall report to and be appointed by the Associate Provost for Research and Dean of the Graduate School. Additionally, the Institutional Biosafety Subcommittee and the Radiation Safety Committee review grant proposals relative to their field of expertise for the Assurances on Hazardous Procedures (AHPS) Program. These Committees and other non-faculty chaired Environmental Safety Committees (Indoor Air Quality Committee, etc.) will be responsible for recommending policies related to their area of program oversight to the Policy Committee.
  6. University Faculty, Staff, and StudentsIt is the responsibility of individuals to conduct their activities at UM in compliance with all applicable government, University, and department policies and regulations. The success of the University's environmental, safety and health management activities directly depends upon the active involvement of individuals through participation in training; abiding by established safety and environmental procedures; reporting hazards and potential violations of regulations; and recommending improvements.The Maryland Tort Claims Act gives State employees, students and volunteers immunity from tort suits under certain circumstances. As a general matter, State employees are immune from suit in State courts and from liability for tortious acts, and under certain circumstances from liability for civil claims other than torts, if the alleged acts 1 I were done within the scope of their employment; and, 2Ù were done without malice or gross negligence. Employees charged with criminal acts may not be represented by the State, but may, if not criminally responsible, receive reimbursement for reasonable counsel fees as permitted by Maryland law.University faculty, staff, and students shall follow established UM E,S&H policy and abide by federal, state, and local laws and regulations.


DES shall provide annual training for the departmental E,S&H Coordinators, and shall provide a manual of fact sheets for their reference. In addition, DES shall maintain a campus Internet resource which shall include current UM E,S&H bulletins, safety and health information, and links to other appropriate regulatory agencies, material safety data, etc.

The Director of DES, or a designee, shall maintain regular communications with the E,S&H Coordinators and shall respond in a timely manner to all requests for advice or assistance.


The University is committed to investigating and appropriately reporting all environmental, safety and health incidents. It is the responsibility of all employees of the University to disclose fully any activity that may be or may result in a violation of any environmental, safety and health regulation, and to participate cooperatively in the investigation and remediation of any incidents. Any incident or questions regarding compliance should normally be reported to the environmental and safety compliance officer at the college/school or administrative department. In the event that the compliance officer is not available, incidents should be reported to the Director of DES, or the Director's authorized designee. Employees and students who report incidents in accordance with law and UM procedures, or who raise questions or concerns about the University's environmental, safety and health procedures, will not be penalized by UM and such action will not reflect adversely on the employee's or student's record.


The University views compliance with all applicable laws and regulations as a condition of employment, and violation of such requirements shall be considered grounds for disciplinary action, including termination of employment.

Further, governmental agencies have established increasingly strict policies to ensure compliance with environmental, safety and health regulations, including harsh civil penalties and individual criminal prosecution leading to possible imprisonment and substantial fines. Accordingly, the University expects all faculty, staff, and students to be vigilant in complying with all applicable environmental, safety and health laws.