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PENNSYLVANIA TURNPIKE: ENVIRONMENTAL TEAMWORK TAKES PRIORITY

 PENNSYLVANIA TURNPIKE: ENVIRONMENTAL TEAMWORK TAKES PRIORITY
 HARRISBURG, Pa., April 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Whether it's the Phillies or the Pirates, the Steelers or the Eagles, we all like to cheer for our favorite team.
 Americans love teams because they represent what is best about our society -- working together in a spirit of cooperation to accomplish a goal that no one person working alone could do.
 In recent times, the concept of teamwork has been used by business and industry to move ahead. Team spirit is often what makes one corporation more efficient and productive than its competitors.
 Like many successful businesses, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission also takes a team approach to problem-solving. Formation of an Incident Management Team to look into ways to improve response to accidents and other emergencies has significantly improved Turnpike safety statistics. When a number of technical problems popped up with the computerized toll collection, formation of a System Support Team helped to resolve the issues. Both of these teams are ongoing, meeting monthly to review incidents and get input from team members in various departments.
 "The team approach has worked well for us on many major projects," said Associate Executive Director and Chief Engineer James B. Wilson. "An interdisciplinary approach makes for more productivity in the long run."
 When various environmental issues continually challenged the commission, it seemed natural to take a team approach. "The staff got tired of putting out fires and decided to be proactive," said Wilson. "We could see how the team approach had helped us in other areas."
 James J. Eden, facilities manager who heads the Systems Support Team, first suggested the idea for an environmental team. "I was reacting to a lot of environmental issues myself," said Eden, "but the problems crossed departmental and disciplinary lines. We needed the cooperation of many people to handle our environmental concerns."
 So in June 1990, the Environmental Action Team (EAT) met for the first time. "In terms of teams, we're still in the formative stages," said Wilson. "It takes a relatively long time to get a team working to its full potential. Even so, we have already accomplished a lot. In another year, we will see even more productivity."
 Environmental concerns are a priority in all Turnpike Commission projects and programs. "Because environmental issues are so diverse and often quite complex, the team approach works well," said Donald T. Gilligan, construction manager/landscape architect who also heads EAT.
 EAT members include representatives from the following departments: Engineering Construction, Design and Facilities; Fare Collection; Finance; Human Resources; Insurance; Legal; Maintenance; Marketing; Public Information; Safety and State Police. Members of the Executive and Consulting Engineer staffs also take part. Participation is on a voluntary basis.
 "By bringing this diverse group into a meeting room, we can look at highly technical issues from many points of view," said Gilligan. "It's a forum for suggestions from all levels. The goal is to try to do something positive for the environment."
 The letters "EAT" could also stand for Environmental Awareness Team. "We try to keep members informed of important issues and make them aware of potential problems," said Eden. "In order to take a proactive approach, everyone must be aware of the issues." The information- sharing that results has proved to be helpful on many occasions. "I see it as preventive maintenance," said John L. Sokol, Turnpike executive director. "The team attempts to recognize potential problems and find a solution for them before they actually become a problem."
 /delval/
 -0- 4/15/92
 /CONTACT: Sally Grant Branca of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, 717-939-9551/ CO: Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission ST: Pennsylvania IN: TRN SU:


MK-JS -- PH023 -- 8706 04/15/92 12:37 EDT
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Date:Apr 15, 1992
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