Sally Rand: Protecting the Environment

We can have a strong economy and a livable environment according to Sally Rand, team leader for Fluorinated Greenhouse Gas Voluntary Programs in the U.S. EPA Climate Protection Division in Washington, D.C.  She has found that companies at the forefront of environmental leadership are more efficient and competitive, and Rand’s job is to help people have a forum to develop an action plan, collect details and share information.

Growing up in Colorado and preferring to be outdoors, Rand developed a keen awareness of the environment and the importance of environmental quality. Now she directs program formation and facilitates implementation of emission reduction efforts in five industrial sectors: aluminum, electric power systems, magnesium, HCFC-22 production and semiconductors.  Rand will be presenting theSF6 Regulation Update at the Finepoint Circuit Breaker Test & Maintenance Training Conference hosted by Doble in Atlanta, Georgia on Wednesday, Oct. 9, from 10:15 a.m. to 11 a.m..

The presentation will give an update on climate protection efforts related to sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) emissions, including an overview of activities under the EPA SF6 Emission Reduction Partnership, the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program and other strategic U.S. and international initiatives. 

“Avoiding putting a chemical into the atmosphere that lasts for over 3000 years, improving system reliability and saving money are all important,” Rand said. “SF6 is an essential component of all electric power systems. At the same time, it’s the most potent and persistent greenhouse gas. So using SF6 only where it’s technically necessary and keeping it inside equipment is the clear goal. There’s no downside to this prioritizing this issue.”

Rand said that the EPA has been tasked with stepping up action to curb greenhouse gas emissions under the existing authority of the Clean Air Act. “New comprehensive climate legislation would be better but in the meantime, there are a lot of technically feasible, cost-effective actions currently available to reduce emissions,” she said.

Rand’s entire EPA career has involved working directly with industry to improve environmental performance.  “I’ve been lucky to work with many people who want to find workable solutions to environmental problems. The key is to find the people eager to be creative and willing to make changes and then help them succeed,” she said.

She said Finepoint is a great conference to both meet with people who work on the whole spectrum of SF6 emission reduction efforts that are ongoing, as well as people who are new to the issue. “I always learn something new that’s going on in the field.”  

Every two years EPA organizes a workshop on SF6 emission reductions. Participants include everyone from field personnel to gas distributors and equipment manufacturers. The next workshop will be in Spring 2014 so she will certainly be recruiting participants at this year’s Finepoint Conference. 

When Rand is not working to help the environment, she spends weekends at swim meets, soccer and basketball games watching her daughter. If she gets a chance to take a break, she likes to camp, ski and watch rodeos.

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