Assessing and developing recommendations to improve the services of the Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA) Program Public
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Oftentimes when one thinks of chemicals in relation to the environment, first thoughts typically gravitate towards chemical releases or oil spills. While these are ever-present dangers associated with chemicals, it is also important to recognize the adverse effects of the use of toxic chemicals in facilities to workers in these facilities as well as the communities surrounding them. We worked with the Massachusetts Office of Technical Assistance (OTA), to help analyze their operating procedures to provide recommendations to improve these procedures. In general, OTA is a non-regulatory government body that provides free and confidential technical assistance to companies in order to help them reduce their use of toxics. Our research primarily consisted of interviews and surveys conducted with previous OTA clients, which gave us a perspective of how effective OTA’s technical assistance was, and how OTA could modify their services. We also conducted interviews with OTA stakeholders to gain an outsider perspective on OTA’s services. Based on our research, we recommend that the Office of Technical Assistance promote their services through social media, especially through the social media accounts of other government agencies. We also recommend that OTA focus more on creating more individualized plans for follow-up with clients, by working with clients to determine how often they would like to be contacted before and after a site visit. Furthermore, we recommend that OTA perform more analyses to assess the feasibility of recommendations based on the client’s financial and time-based commitments. Another important outcome of our project is the impact that our project has on OTA’s relationship with its clients. Through our interviews, our team also conducted outreach with previous OTA clients and helped reestablish relations with them.
- This report represents the work of one or more WPI undergraduate students submitted to the faculty as evidence of completion of a degree requirement. WPI routinely publishes these reports on its website without editorial or peer review.
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