2018 – Evaluation of Chemical Safety and Climate Change Resiliency Services – OTA

Authors: Matthew Cannata (BME, ’20), Przemyslaw Gardias (CS ’20), Shaye Johnstone (CHE ’20), Daniel Sullivan (CS ’20)

Sponsor: Tiffany Skogstrom, Office of Technical Assistance and Technology

Advisor: Professor Seth Tuler


Climate change has caused an increase in severe weather patterns. Wind gusts, extreme temperatures, and extreme precipitation can cause floods, structural damage, or power loss to toxics-using facilities, leading to risk of chemical disasters. The goal of our project was to assess the effectiveness of the Massachusetts Office of Technical Assistance and Technology’s (OTA) climate change resiliency and chemical safety program. The program supports the Toxics Use Reduction Act and consists of trainings and confidential site visits. We defined criteria to determine program effectiveness and interviewed and surveyed program participants to gain feedback on their experiences. We used this feedback to develop recommendations to improve the future trainings, site visits, online resources, and feedback.

About Our Sponsor

The Office of Technical Assistance and Technology works to support the growth of environmentally responsible manufacturing and production in the Commonwealth by encouraging businesses to better comply with environmental regulations, implement cost effective toxics use reduction, energy efficiency, water conservation, and other sustainable practices.

– Office of Technical Assistance and Technology Website

To support Massachusetts businesses, the OTA provides free, confidential technical services to assist them in toxics use reduction. An EPA grant allowed the OTA to partner with Regional Planning Agencies throughout Massachusetts to hold free training sessions for first responders, municipal workers, toxics users, and other invested individuals in need of the OTA’s services.