Environmental Safety

Community Planning Right to Know
Unmanned Aircraft Systems on University Campus and Property
EHS Asbestos Management
Hazardous Waste Management
Waste Disposal Procedure
Indoor Air Quality
Underground Storage Tanks (UST)


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You may use this link to find out information about Unmanned Aircraft Systems (Drones).


Asbestos-containing material (ACM) that is well-maintained and undisturbed is unlikely to present a health risk. Once damaged or disturbed, however, the ACM can release hazardous asbestos fibers into the air where they can be inhaled and cause the serious illnesses described above. If ACM is damaged, disturbed, or otherwise requires removal, such removal will be effectively and safely managed through strict compliance with all applicable State and Federal asbestos regulations. Any damaged or disturbed building materials that could potentially contain asbestos should be reported to EHS immediately so the situation can be investigated and appropriately addressed.

Proper identification of ACM or PACM must be made by an Asbestos Building Inspector who is accredited by the State of Illinois. Questions regarding Asbestos Management at GSU or concerns associated with potential asbestos exposure should be directed to Environmental Health and Safety at (708)-235-6823.

IDPH Asbestos Website


Hazardous wastes are solid wastes that are either listed by the EPA in 40 CFR Part 261, or exhibit a characteristic of ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity, or toxicity. In general, any product or chemical that is, or contains a hazardous chemical, will likely become a hazardous waste upon disposal.

As the name implies, hazardous wastes can present hazards to human health and the environment and must be managed appropriately. The same management principles that apply to hazardous chemicals also apply to hazardous wastes, including proper labeling and storage. Hazardous wastes may only be stored on-site for a limited period of time before they must be taken to a proper treatment, storage, and disposal facility.

Therefore, full containers of hazardous wastes mustn't be allowed to accumulate at the generating location. Special caution must be given to acutely hazardous wastes which are hazardous wastes with extreme characteristics such as high acute toxicity, instability, etc. These are referred to as P-listed wastes, and only very small quantities may be stored on-site at any one time.

All employees involved in the generation of hazardous or special wastes shall receive training to include the requirements of this program as well as the specific procedures to follow when generating waste.

Waste Disposal Procedure

In general, any waste material that may present a hazard to human health or the environment should be considered a potential hazardous or special waste. This includes chemicals, cleaning solutions, oils, etc. If there is any doubt whether a waste is hazardous or special, contact EHS for assistance. NEVER deposit questionable waste material into the sewer or trash without first consulting EHS.

When a waste is generated, the generator of the waste must complete the GSU Waste Disposal Request Form and forward it to EHS for review.

The form must be filled out in its entirety, or it will be sent back to the generator. Certain Universal Wastes such as lamps and batteries do not require the generator to complete the Waste Disposal Request Form. For management of these materials, see Section 8.0. You may review GSU EHS Program 200 for more information about the Hazardous & Special Waste Management program.


Governors State University (GSU) is the first public state university in Illinois to be certified as a healthy building by the Healthy Building Institute, a company focused on healthy indoor environments.

HBI Logo

To achieve the Healthy Building Institute (HBI) recognition, the university engaged in a six-week assessment of indoor ventilation and water systems to ensure they met federal and professional guidelines established by the Environmental Protection Agency; Centers for Disease Control; the Occupational Safety and Health Administration; the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning; and the American Industrial Hygiene Association. Governors State University is proud to commit the resources and time necessary to achieve this outcome.

Governor State University is also committed to providing faculty, staff, and students with a work environment free of recognized hazards. Reports of poor indoor air quality (IAQ) are investigated by Environmental Health and Safety on a case-by-case basis. Due to variations in individual sensitivities and scientific limitations, the source of IAQ complaints and respective remediation measures may not always be identified when complaints are reported and thoroughly investigated. The Environmental Health and Safety Department and Facilities Department & Management (FDM) work together to address indoor air quality concerns across the campus.

To report an Indoor Air Quality concern, please submit a work order to FDM at TMA Request Link or call (708) 534-4515. If you feel your concern requires immediate attention, contact Environmental Health and Safety at (708) 235-6823.

View more information about the certification here.


Governors State University has Underground Storage Tanks (USTs) for fuel storage. Underground Storage Tanks (USTs) are regulated by the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal Division of Petroleum and Chemical Safety. Emergency response procedures have been developed to ensure that GSU is ready to respond to any situations involving leaking or malfunctioning USTs. All USTs are equipped with overfill alarms, emergency shut-off switches, and emergency spill kits.

In the case of a spill, leak, release, or alarm, the following shall be completed:

  • Minor spills shall be reported to the FDM (x4515) or EHS (x6823) department.
  • Spills over 25 gallons or resulting in a sheen on nearby surface water shall be reported to 911 or GSU Public Safety Department at (x4900). Environmental Health and Safety will assist with spill response and containment and contact the Illinois Emergency Management Agency to report the spill within 24 hours.

Following immediate response actions, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) must be notified of all releases of petroleum products in excess of 25 gallons. This notification can be made verbally via phone by calling 800-782-7860. When making the notification, keep the GSU O&M Plan available to help answer any questions IEMA may have.

Report an EHS concern