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News Release

RI Department of Environmental Management
235 Promenade St., Providence, RI 02908
(401) 222-2771 TDD/(401) 222-4462

For Release:

January 21, 2000


Gail Mastrati 222-4700 ext. 2402
Stephanie Powell 222-4700 ext. 4418


PROVIDENCE -Ten South Korean environmental experts from academia and government will visit Rhode Island from January 24 through January 27 to take part in a series of meetings and site visits with staff from DEM, the University of Rhode Island, and the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, as well as representatives from several Rhode Island environmental businesses. The purpose of the visit is to share ideas and strengthen collaboration on pollution prevention technology research, government policy development, and Rhode Island-based environmental technology export to South Korea.

The visit is a continuation of an international pollution prevention collaboration, which started as a result of the 1997 trade mission to Asia, led by Governor Lincoln Almond. Dr. Eugene Park, co-director of URI's Center for Pollution Prevention, accompanied Governor Almond on the trade mission and is coordinating this first-time official visit to Rhode Island by the Korean delegation.

"We are honored to have this opportunity to exchange information and present some of Rhode Island's environmental success stories to our counterparts from South Korea," DEM Director Jan Reitsma said. "Protecting the environment through pollution prevention practices is a common goal that reaches across national boundaries. I am delighted that the collaboration begun in 1997 is continuing to grow."

Meetings will be held at DEM headquarters in Providence, as well as at URI's campus in Kingston. Site visits will include a trip to Chip Coolers in Warwick on Thursday morning, where URI and DEM were successful in helping the company to reduce environmental costs and liabilities by implementing various pollution prevention methods. Several local environmental businesses also will meet with the delegates, as part of a continuing effort to establish viable commercial export opportunities to South Korea.

On Monday, Reitsma will greet the delegates at DEM headquarters. They will then spend the rest of the day at DEM, learning about the history and accomplishments of DEM's highly-touted Pollution Prevention program, and sharing information about pollution prevention activities in South Korea. Tuesday, the group will spend the day touring the University of Rhode Island and its Center for Pollution Prevention, where they will learn about URI's pollution prevention projects.

On Wednesday morning, back at DEM, the delegation will hear a presentation by Biomatrix Technologies, a visit sponsor, followed by a tour of the company, located in Lincoln. Biomatrix Technologies, which develops and manufactures specialty biological treatment systems, has worked with URI on a fish waste management project in Galilee, and is currently working with Seoul National University in Korea on a collaborative project. In the afternoon, presentations will be made by the state's Economic Development Corporation, and by another sponsor, Metfab Technologies, of Warwick. DEM's Pollution Prevention program has used some of Metfab's technologies to help Rhode Island companies reduce and prevent pollution in their manufacturing processes.

South Korean participants will include Chunkyoo Park, Deputy Director, Environmental Technology Division, Ministry of Environment; Kilsang Chang, Pollution Prevention Program director, Environmental Technology Centre, Ministry of Environment; Dr. Myungkyoon Lee, of the Korea Environment Institute; Taeyong Lee, Director Industrial Location and Environment Division, Ministry of Commerce, Industry & Energy; Dr. Keyoungjin Chun, Chief Senior Researcher, Pollution Prevention Centre, Korea Institute of Industrial Technology; Professor Taeil Yoon, of the Department of Environmental Engineering, Inha University; Professor Chunghak Lee, of the School of Chemical Engineering at Seoul National University; Professor Byonghun Min, of the Department of Chemical Engineering at Suwon University; Dr. Taijin Park, Chemical Engineering Program Director, Korea Institute of Science and Technology; and Professor Sang Baek Lee, Professor of Chemical Engineering at Cheju University.

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