(Certified Best Practice by BMPCOE)
Polaroid Corporation - Waltham, MA
Polaroid works closely with local community officials to keep them informed on the risk factors, hazardous materials used at manufacturing sites, and precautions taken to ensure the safety of employees and the public. Polaroid employees serve as members on community-based Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs) to ensure an effective, ready response in the event of a hazardous material accident from any source in the community. LEPC participation also includes representatives from other manufacturing companies who work in partnership with the communities to ensure public safety. Polaroid contributes funding, equipment, and its expertise on environmental and safety issues.
In 1995, Polaroid purchased computer hardware and modeling software (CAMEO) for the Waltham, Massachusetts LEPC. Local safety officials use the computer system to model and simulate various scenarios depicting the release of air emissions, maintain information on the chemicals used at local industrial sites, and store detailed maps of the area which pinpoint the locations of sensitive facilities such as schools and hospitals. The user can generate templates and map overlays that show the predicted spill footprints and air dispersion patterns under various conditions. The system can create detailed information on the effects of the material and appropriate responses for each environmental emergency scenario. Polaroid also provides computer training on this system for local officials and LEPC members.
The success of LEPCs is largely a result of Polaroid's commitment to the community and strong emphasis on openness. The company provides regular reports, an environmental newsletter, plant tours for interested community members, and annual community meetings at its manufacturing sites. In addition, local emergency responders have access to the material safety data sheets for all chemicals used at Polaroid.