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Policies and Procedures
Donated Chemicals - Acquisition


This procedure describes the process required for the acceptance of donated chemicals by members of the College community.  In order to prevent the receipt of unwanted or contaminated chemicals, keep disposal costs to a minimum, comply with the law governing disposal of chemicals, ensure that labeling and safety information regarding the chemicals is in place, insure safe transportation of donated chemicals to ESF, and otherwise comply with government regulations, this procedure establishes requirements for the acquisition of chemicals that are not obtained through the standard purchasing process.


It is the policy of ESF to accept donated chemicals only with the approval of the Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) Office upon review of documented information contained in the attached inventory form.  Donated chemicals will be transported in ESF vehicles only with the approval of EH&S and only in the furtherance of the College’s non-commercial enterprises. 


  1. Chemicals being considered for receipt must be personally viewed and inspected by ESF faculty or staff. All containers and their labels must be in very good condition. All chemicals must have a reasonable expectation of use and freedom from contamination.
  2. Containers of “hazardous chemicals” must be factory sealed. Hazardous chemicals, as defined by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), include those that are:
  • Ignitable – flash point <140°F
  • Corrosive – pH <2 or >5
  • Reactive – readily explode or undergo a violent reaction under normal handling conditions
  • Toxic – either listed by the EPA as toxic, or incapable of passing the EPA’s Toxic Characteristic Leaching Procedure
  1. A complete inventory and an explanation of intended use must be submitted to the EH&S Office for review prior to acceptance, using the “SUNY-ESF Donated Chemical Inventory Form and Chemical Transport Document” (attached). A copy of the completed inventory form will be maintained in the EH&S Office. 
  2. The Environmental Health and Safety Officer must approve all items for acceptance and method of transport before they can be brought on campus. The Environmental Health and Safety Officer is authorized to prohibit acceptance of items due to extreme toxicity, instability, inadequate packaging, disposal costs, excessive inventory, lack of appropriate storage facilities, etc. or if intended use is insufficient to support the acceptance of the donation. 
  3. ESF personnel transporting chemicals must be College or Research Foundation employees and must perform the move in a College-owned vehicle. The above mentioned inventory form must be held by the driver to serve as the chemical transport document.  The EH&S Office can provide additional guidance.
  4. The receiver of chemicals, who is a College or Research Foundation employee, must make certain that material safety data sheets (MSDS) are accessible for all chemicals prior to their receipt at ESF. These may be available on a website, hardcopy, or other means, but their location must be indicated on the inventory form.
  5. As soon as the chemicals arrive on College property, the receiver of the chemicals is responsible for labeling all containers according to requirements established in ESF’s “Laboratory Safety Guide and Chemical Hygiene Plan”.
  6. Exceptions to these procedures may be approved by the Environmental Health and Safety Officer provided they meet all College objectives and regulatory requirements.