UB statement on state comptroller’s hazardous materials report

Release Date: December 3, 2018

The university takes very seriously its obligations and commitment to provide a safe and secure environment for all members of our campus communities, as well as for visitors to our campuses.

The statements and findings in the Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) audit report regarding UB’s alleged disregard for the health and safety of our community and unresponsiveness to potential risks are incorrect and misleading. Moreover, they have the potential to needlessly alarm our students, employees and campus communities.

The university’s detailed review of the OSC audit report indicates that its findings contain numerous errors, inconsistencies and misstatements. UB and SUNY do not agree with the report’s conclusions. The university has in place longstanding, established procedures to manage all aspects of hazardous waste and materials oversight.

In fact, the university is overseen by 28 regulatory agencies and there are more than 400 regulations (local, state, federal) to which UB adheres. These regulators possess the expertise and jurisdiction to accurately assess whether the university has adequate controls to effectively safeguard communities against hazardous materials and waste. Their observations and findings over many years are in direct conflict with conclusions in the OSC report.

Over the last three years, regulators each year spent 400 to 600 field hours auditing UB’s hazardous material and waste controls. OSC auditors were present on campus for approximately 40 hours total, over two separate visits in November 2017 and January 2018.

The university’s procedures and protocols for the handling of hazardous materials meet and exceed the highest federal, state and local standards. The university is always cooperative when agencies review our programs and policies.

The university’s overall compliance program is operating as intended. The university welcomes the opportunity to address any legitimate recommendations raised in the audit for internal control improvements that align with local, state and federal requirements.

Media Contact Information

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