AC to host advisory board that facilitates national hazardous-materials training


Amarillo College, a leader in providing robust and efficient hazardous-materials training for Department of Energy (DOE) workers, will host a meeting of the national DOE advisory board that helps oversee that training nationally.

The National Partnership for Environmental Technology Education (PETE)/DOE Advisory Board will meet from 12:30-3 p.m. Wednesday, April 10 at AC’s Downtown Campus, 1314 S. Polk St.

National PETE is a nonprofit organization that helps facilitate partnerships between educational institutions, industry and government, and it administers the Community College Consortium for Health and Safety Training (CCCHST).

CCCHST is funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and has nationwide training components – including Amarillo College – that serve both the Environmental Protection Agency and the DOE.

The Advisory Board meeting is expected to attract representatives from PETE, DOE, CCCHST and NIEHS, and partner reports are on the agenda.

AC is among the leading higher-education training facilitators in the PETE/DOE consortium and receives $150,000 annually to train DOE employees at Amarillo’s Pantex plant in the safe handling and transportation of hazardous materials.

AC and the University of Tennessee, which serves Tennessee-area DOE sites, are helping lead the way nationally by training more than 2,500 workers, technicians and supervisors annually in HAZWOPER 40-hour and refresher classes.

Participants learn to protect themselves, their facilities, and their communities from exposure to hazardous materials encountered during hazardous waste site cleanup, in the transportation of hazardous materials, and in the response to releases of hazardous materials, according to Kirk Laflin, executive director of National Pete.

“National PETE salutes the work that Amarillo College has done with NIEHS grant support since 1995 in support of critical environmental health and safety training for employees at the Pantex Department of Energy facility,” said Laflin, who plans to attend the meeting at AC.

“The project Advisory Board meets annually to review training accomplishments,” he said. “They have found this to be one of the most successful and progressive projects funded with grant dollars from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.”

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