EPA Names Regional Environmental Achievement Award Winners, 5 In PA

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s mid-Atlantic region this week announced 11 winners of its annual Environmental Achievement Awards, including five from Pennsylvania.
            “People and organizations throughout our region are making great strides in environmental protection, and these awards recognize some of the shining stars who are doing more than their share to keep our planet healthy and inspiring others to do the same,” said Shawn M. Garvin, regional administrator for EPA’s mid-Atlantic region.
            The Mid-Atlantic Environmental Achievement Awards recognize groups, agencies, individuals and businesses making extraordinary contributions to improving the environment in the mid-Atlantic region, which includes Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. The winning entries were selected from among more than 30 nominations.  
            The Pennsylvania award winners include:
-- Upper Merion School District in King of Prussia, Pa. for being a 2010 Energy Star leader and for reducing its energy consumption by more than 30 percent, an achievement reached by only about a dozen of the nation’s 15,000 school districts.  All six of Upper Merion’s schools have earned the Energy Star rating and several buildings have energy reductions near 50 percent.  The district has also embarked on an aggressive recycling program that has resulted in about 50 percent of its solid waste being recycled instead of going to the landfill.
-- Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership in Philadelphia for its energetic devotion to improve the health of the Tacony Creek and its boundaries.  With a small staff, this non-profit organization along with volunteers has reached more than 8,700 watershed stewards face-to-face; taught more than 60 lessons to local school children; restored more than 20,000 square feet of developed land into native habitat; installed more than 230 rain barrels which keeps 16,500 gallons of rainwater out of overloaded sewer systems each time it rains; and assisted its partners in restoring more than  13,000 feet of stream to native habitat.
-- Construction Specialties Inc., has a long and consistent record of environmental leadership at its Muncy Pennsylvania facility in Lycoming County, seeing environmental protection as a "journey - not a destination." Since 1995, they have taken a "Compass Approach" to implement and achieve their long-range environmental vision and plan.
            Construction Specialties’ facility upgrades and sustainable practices include the purchase of existing manufacturing buildings in lieu of constructing new buildings on-site; installing waterless urinals and flow sensors in the company’s buildings resulting in savings of about 800,000 gallons of water in the past two years; energy-saving upgrades to windows and lighting fixtures; installing motion sensor lights in warehouses and offices; using green cleaning practices and biodegradable food-service products; and adding a three-quarter mile walking trail at the Muncy site.  The company reports having reduced CO2 emissions by almost 3 million pounds over two years.
-- Carroll Citizens for Sensible Growth, a non-profit group in Northern York County, Pa. By recruiting volunteers to pick up trash and by organizing trash collection events, Carroll Citizens for Sensible Growth has collected nearly 130,000 tons of debris and recycled 75 tons of scrap metal.  The group has rallied more than 460 people, contributing more than 2,000 volunteer hours to clean up neighborhoods in Carroll Township.
-- Veronica B. Kasi of the Department of Environmental Protection has tirelessly worked to  promote  sustainability at water and wastewater systems in the Pennsylvania, and has played a key role in programs which provide funding for drinking water and water quality needs. 
            Kasi’s efforts included developing Pennsylvania’s Operator Certification Program, a new and sophisticated program that provides varying types of certification for operators of water and wastewater systems.  She has helped reduce problems associated with old and outdated water and sewer systems despite limited resources.  By advocating the use of federal EPA principles for water and wastewater operations, Kasi has established a standard to be met for sustainable water infrastructure in Pennsylvania. 
            EPA presents awards in three categories: non-profit or volunteer organization; business and industry; and state, local or other federal government agency.
            The full list of of Award Winners is available online.


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