Spurred by a government fine for violating pollution laws, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) plans to become a model environmental citizen. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been battling the Cambridge, Massachusetts, university since 1998 over sloppy hazardous waste handling at more than 200 of MIT's 2200 labs.
On 18 April, EPA fined the school $150,000. The same day, MIT announced that it will spend an additional $405,000 to build a Web-based "environmental campus" which will demonstrate how other schools can cope with complex environmental laws. Funds will also go to an education program at Cambridge public schools and a biofiltration storm water management system.
In a letter to MIT President Chuck Vest, EPA official Sam Silverman wrote that MIT's plan "to go beyond its compliance obligations by taking on far-reaching green initiatives is laudable."