Governor’s 2014 Environmental Excellence Award Winners Honored
On Tuesday the 23 organizations involved in 19 environmental projects from across the state were honored with the 2014 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence.
The Pennsylvania Environmental Council hosted a dinner to recognize the award winners and featured keynote speaker Chris Abruzzo, Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection and opening remarks by Ellen Ferretti, Secretary of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
Secretary Ferretti said DCNR’s employees are excited about implementing Gov. Corbett’s Enhanced Penn Woods initiative to repair and upgrade State Parks and Forests. She also congratulated PEC on its 44th birthday and recalled what a radical thing it was in 1970 to recycle.
Click Here to watch Ferretti’s remarks.
“Each year, it’s inspiring to learn about the innovative, environmentally friendly projects from across the state,” said DEP Secretary Chris Abruzzo. “This year’s award recipients are protecting Pennsylvania’s environment with creativity and ingenuity.”
Secretary Abruzzo provided an update on activities in DEP, including the Permit Review Guarantee (96 percent on time), transparency at the agency (a record number of hearings and webinars) and the best kept secret at the agency-- the dramatic reduction of greenhouse gas emissions as a result of increased natural gas use (2020 emissions will be lower than 2000 emissions).
“You have the commitment of this Governor and this DEP Secretary, that every day we will work extraordinarily hard to uphold our mission to protect our land, water and air resources,” Abruzzo said.
Click Here to watch Abruzzo’s remarks.
Gov. Corbett recognized the award winners by saying, “The recipients of this year’s award represent a few of the many dedicated Pennsylvanians who have committed their businesses, schools and other organizations to be good stewards of the environment. Their efforts are key to ensure that Pennsylvania’s air, land and water are clean for generations to come.”
Any Pennsylvania business, school, government agency, trade organization, non-profit organization or agribusiness that has completed projects to promote environmental stewardship and economic development was eligible to apply for the award. The winners were selected by the Department of Environmental Protection.
The winning projects include tailgate recycling, abandoned mine drainage (AMD) abatement, rain gardens and the use of alternative energy, among others.
The Award winners are--
-- Collier Township, Allegheny County, pursued the Rooftop Photovoltaic Electrical Generating System Project, a renewable energy project that will reduce over one million pounds of carbon dioxide gas emissions over time. The project consists of 132 glass tube solar modules installed on a nearby roof. This 22kW photovoltaic system is estimated to generate a net savings of approximately $75,000 over its lifespan by selling back to the local utility company via a “grid-tied” system.
-- Pittsburgh Botanic Garden, Allegheny County, did a pond restoration project in the Woodlands of the World Garden where there is a pond once polluted with AMD. A passive treatment system was installed with a drainable limestone bed that neutralizes acidity and removes metal contaminants before clean water is released into the pond.
-- Shell Appalachia, Allegheny County, created an Environmental Impacts Assessment with a web application that is used as a tool to help reduce risks associated with field development. This application allows planners in all facets of Shell Appalachia to choose from a library of spatial data layers including social, environmental, biological, regulatory, analytical (baseline water and air quality) data and critical infrastructure layers.
-- Cumberland County’s Energy Efficiency Program included replacement of boilers at the courthouse, old courthouse and old jail; replacement of the cooling tower at the courthouse; installation of energy efficient lights; installation of energy efficient motion sensors on vending machines; installation of low-flow faucets and toilets; replacement of hot water usage with an ozone system for laundry at the Claremont Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and county prison; and installation of an energy management system which provides remote computer access to the county’s HVAC systems.
-- Central Dauphin School District’s Energy Conservation Program, Dauphin County, has helped the district save money and reduce energy consumption, as well as reducing its carbon footprint. The district partnered with Cenergistic, Inc. to identify feasible means for reducing energy use in its buildings.
-- Phoenix Contact, Dauphin County, came up with the SunPlug-Solar Powered Electric Vehicle Charging Station Project to prove that electrical vehicles can be re-charged with solar power and without burdening the electrical grid. A solar canopy that is the size of a typical parking lot with 12 high-performance solar panels generates 2.7 kW and is supported with battery storage of 4 kW and a 4.2 kW off-grid inverter to charge electric vehicles.
-- SKELLY and LOY, Inc., Dauphin County, conducted the Allison Hill Automotive Brownfields Remediation Project. The former Allison Hill Automotive site was a 6.2-acre property with multiple vacant buildings that were an eyesore to the local community, an environmental hazard, and a tax liability to the City of Harrisburg. The restoration work included removing and disposing of hazardous wastes, abating materials containing asbestos, and demolishing the buildings. Fencing was installed around the site to improve security and to restrict direct contact to contaminated soils during the cleanup process.
-- Environment Erie’s St. George Rain Catcher Project was a successful partnership of non-profits, private businesses, government and students. A rain garden was planted on the property of a local church to reduce stormwater runoff. Students from the partnering school were able to use the development and construction of the rain garden as a learning tool.
-- PPL Renewable Energy, LLC partnered with the Borough of Chambersburg and IESI PA Blue Ridge Landfill in Franklin County to develop the Blue Ridge Renewable Energy Plant. This unique project consists of a 6.4 MW landfill gas-to-energy plant.
-- Armstrong World Industries’ Recycling Program for Vinyl Composition Tile Flooring in Lancaster County is the first program of its kind to recycle installed Armstrong vinyl flooring products as well as qualifying competitive vinyl products. Under the program, vinyl flooring is recycled in a closed-loop, post-consumer stream with reclaimed material incorporated into new flooring products.
-- City of Lancaster decided to improve stormwater management and traffic safety through its Plum and Walnut Green Intersection Project. The project integrates green infrastructure with enhanced pedestrian amenities and a roadway realignment that improves traffic safety. The project included a porous paver patio area, rain garden, and five porous paver, angled parking spaces in the area previously occupied by a troublesome merge lane, as well as a public art component – a cistern that collects rainwater from a local business’ rooftop.
-- PPL Renewable Energy, LLC created a partnership with Lycoming County and the Federal Bureau of Prisons to work on a public-private-public project at Lycoming County’s Landfill. The entities worked together to develop and construct two co-located landfill gas-to-energy power plants. The project improved its energy efficiency and created jobs.
-- North Penn Public School District, Montgomery County, created an Energy Management Program that combines operational changes, behavioral changes, demand response, energy efficiency savings and community engagement. The district has saved on energy expenses and created a program that educates and engages students and staff in energy conservation and efficiency.
-- Pennsylvania Horticultural Society of Philadelphia worked with local partners to create the Community Farm and Green Resource Center at Bartram’s Garden along the shore of the Schuylkill River in the low income neighborhood of Southwest Philadelphia. The farm and resource center includes a full-scale greenhouse, community garden spaces, an orchard of 90 fruit trees, a farmers market and an entrepreneurial jobs training and leadership development program for local high school students.
-- Robindale Energy Services, Inc., Westmoreland County, created the Seanor-GFCC Project to remove approximately 305,097 tons of waste coal from the Loyalhanna Creek Watershed. Robindale entered into a contract with DEP to remove all usable waste coal, restore the site to approximate original contour, topsoil and re-vegetate the affected area to establish positive surface runoff, thus eliminating the acidic runoff to the streams and enhance the area throughout the Rails to Trail segment at no cost to DEP.
-- The Procter & Gamble Paper Products Company, Mehoopany Plant in Wyoming County installed a 64MW gas fired co-generator that produces electricity, steam and hot air for its operations with some excess electric for sale. The operation is completely self-sufficient, using natural gas extracted on the property to power the co-generator.
-- Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy, Montour County Conservation District, Northumberland County Conservation District, Tioga County Conservation District, Union County Conservation District and Fish and Boat Commission’s Division of Habitat Management partnered together on the Northcentral Stream Restoration Project. The partners used proven in-stream stabilization structures, such as log vanes and mudsills, and agricultural best management practices, such as walkways and fencing. The group was able to implement practices with 18 landowners on 13 streams in four counties.
-- Pennsylvania Resources Council, Inc., in Delaware and Allegheny counties developed the Tailgate Recycling Initiative to target large-scale special events and promote recycling. The Resources Council designed, developed and implemented a program to collect recyclables from tailgating fans attending Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles home games. In addition to the collection effort, the council also used the program to educate the public about the benefits of recycling.
-- Trout Unlimited, Inc. launched its AMD Technical Assistance Program in 2005. The program provides free technical services to assist Growing Greener-eligible entities in their efforts to improve water quality in AMD-impacted streams toward the ultimate goal of restoring fish and other aquatic life and whenever possible, removal of the stream or stream segment from the DEP’s Impaired Waters List.
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