The Catholic University of America

Department of Environmental Health and Safety or "EHS" - Top Banner

Mission of Environmental Health and Safety

Our mission is to assist CUA to:

  1. Maintain a safe and healthy place to learn, work and visit.

  2. Operate in a manner that protects our environment.

  3. Comply with applicable federal and District of Columbia codes and regulations.

EHS News and Announcements

Updated Property Administration Policy

Environmental Health & Safety announces the updated Property Administration policy.  This is the first time this policy has been updated in ten years; better reflects the actual administration of the operations, removes procedural steps and looks towards the future related to technological innovation and improvements.  We encourage all staff and assigned asset users to read the updated policy here or on the Asset Management website.


New Waste Strategies Staffing

Environmental Health & Safety is pleased to announce additional support from our chemical hygiene staffing services with Waste Strategies.  Please join us in welcoming Ms. Stephanie Rueger to the EHS and Waste Strategies team.  Stephanie will be on-site in conjunction and collaboration with Patrick Farrell.  Stephanie will add another element and resource for our management of chemical hygiene and regulatory compliance.  She has a background in laboratory settings and possesses a degree in Chemistry from the University of Maryland, College Park.  She also has experience teaching at Hebei Normal University of Science and Technology in China.  Stephanie can be reached at 202-299-2698 or via email at

Flu Prevention

Remember these basic tips to protect against flu viruses:

  • Avoid close contact with sick individuals,
  • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing,
  • Wash your hand often with soap and water,
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, and
  • Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces within your residence room. 

Contact Student Health Services with any questions regarding the flu virus. 


Hazard Assessment Reviews

EHS is continuing a review of Hazard Assessments for various departments on campus, to include those related to Facilities Maintenance, those which manage laboratories or machine shops, and select other departments.  For those with existing hazard assessments, please conduct your own internal review for any recent changes or needed revisions.  Refer to the Personal Protective Equipment - Hazard Assessment form as a guide, and/or the PPE section of the EHS Manual. 


Attention FMO Staff Using Extension Ladders

Consider the new mobile application from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) for convenient help on safely setting up and using extension ladders.  The free app can be downloaded here for your iPhone, iPad or Android device.





A recent article on the legal ramifications facing UCLA in the wake of their disasterous lab fire:

 October 16

LOS ANGELES — The University of California, Los Angeles paid nearly $4.5 million in legal fees to fight criminal charges against a chemistry professor in a case involving a fatal laboratory fire, records reveal.

Nearly five dozen defense attorneys, paralegals and others billed for work on Patrick Harran’s case, according to documents cited by the Los Angeles Times on Thursday ( ). One attorney charged $792,000 in fees, and at least four other lawyers billed more than $500,000 each — all for pretrial work.

UCLA said in a statement Wednesday that the expense from its public funds was justified.

“We defended ourselves and our faculty member as was our right and obligation, using funds in a systemwide self-insurance program,” it said.

Harran had faced up to 4 1/2 years in prison if convicted in the 2008 lab fire that killed research assistant Sheharbano “Sheri” Sangji.

Sangji, 23, was transferring a chemical when it spilled, igniting on contact with the air. She wasn’t wearing a protective coat, and her sweater melted into her skin. She died 18 days later.

Harran settled with prosecutors in June by agreeing to teach high school summer classes in chemistry, perform 800 hours of community service and pay a $10,000 fine.


Information from: Los Angeles Times,

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Upcoming Dates

    • Mar
      EHS Annual Inspections: Columbus School of Law


    Louis Alar

    Director, Environmental Health & Safety

    (202) 319-5789