Region 1: EPA New England
2005 Environmental Merit Award Recipients
|By Category||By State
|Environmental, Community, Academia, & Non-profit Organizations||MA|
|Business, Industry, & Professional Organizations||RI|
Fran Coffin (Posthumous)
Selectman, volunteer firefighter, business leader and strong environmental advocate, Fran Coffin was killed in an automobile accident January 30, 2004, at the age of 54. His efforts to further a sustainable economy in northern New Hampshire grew out of concern about the region’s economic sustainability when it became clear paper mill closings would hurt the area's economy. At the same time, it was unclear how such closures might affect surrounding forests. Residents hoped sustainable forestry practices would continue and recreational access to lands would be preserved. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was working at the time to conserve wildlife habitat by establishing the Lake Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge in the area. Fran valued local control and realized citizens could partner with the refuge. He became a strong voice for the Lake Umbagog Refuge, joining the Refuge Task Force and organizing local businesses into the Umbagog Area Chamber of Commerce. Due in large part to Fran’s efforts, $2 million in Forest Legacy funds were made available to buy timber company holdings adjacent to the Androscoggin River called the Thirteen-Mile Woods. Fran’s effective advocacy for economic sustainability has helped New Hampshire retain many of its unspoiled natural treasures.
James Farrell (Posthumous)
James D.P. Farrell is remembered today for so many great qualities and talents including his prominence as an exceptional environmental attorney, a masterful negotiator and a treasured colleague. After Jim graduated in 1986 from Boston College Law School, he worked in the environmental enforcement division at the U.S. Department of Justice and as an aide to U.S. Sen. Warren Rudman of New Hampshire, before joining the Massachusetts attorney general’s office in 1999. Jim died suddenly last November at the age of 46. At DOJ, Jim was admired for his work on complex Superfund negotiations - including negotiations in New England. As a DOJ attorney on the General Electric Pittsfield case, Jim’s ideas during negotiations helped parties reach an unprecedented settlement. While at the Massachusetts AG’s office, Jim was chief of the brownfields unit and was often involved in delicate negotiations among developers, municipalities and former owners of contaminated sites. He was instrumental in making the brownfields redevelopment process work in Massachusetts. Jim’s work for the AG’s office strengthened the partnership between EPA New England and the state. He was a valued member of the South Weymouth Naval Base case team, where he helped bring together representatives of the business, environmental and military communities for site cleanup and redevelopment. Jim’s dedication, professionalism, talent and commitment to the environment will be remembered always and are honored today.
Terrence Frost has dedicated his life to environmental conservation. Terry began at age 13 with trail work in Sandwich, New Hampshire and writing articles for “Open Road for Boys” magazine. He graduated in 1942 from the University of New Hampshire with a degree in Zoology, then later received a Master's Degree in Zoology from UNH. In the 60’s and 70s, Terry led hikes for the Appalachian Mountain Club and became president of the Chatham Trails Association. He organized and led trail maintenance events in the White Mountain National Forest for over a decade with much success. Terry also became a member of many grass roots environmental organizations. He is still a member of many of the organizations he joined 40 years ago. Terry retired in 1982 from his career in natural resources but continued to lecture in water resources at New England College. Since 1986, Terry has been the emphatic trail development and work party leader for the Concord Conservation Commission’s “Concord Trails System.” Terry is one of the handful of individuals that has given us New Hampshire as it is today.
Elizabeth (Wibs) McLain
Elizabeth (Wibs) McLain retired from a long and distinguished career in public service this year and deserves special recognition for protecting the citizens of Vermont and its environment. Appointed by Governor Jim Douglas in January 2003 as the Cabinet Secretary to the Agency of Natural Resources, Wibs was called to the position due to her experience and expertise in public service. Under Wibs’ rein, the Agency, whose mission is to protect and enhance Vermont’s natural resources, played a critical role in facilitating the Governor’s permit reform plan and in implementing a program that made the agency more responsive to the requests of the citizens it serves. Wibs was also responsible for the initiation of Governor Douglas’ Clean and Clear Action Plan, and she accelerated implementation of the comprehensive Lake Champlain phosphorous total maximum daily load and enhanced pollution reduction for all state waters. At the Agency, Wibs led approximately 550 employees working in three departments: the Department of Environmental Conservation, the Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation. Wibs enjoyed an extensive career in management, government and advocacy. In addition to serving as a legislator, she served as Chief of Staff to Governor Snelling, as Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation and Deputy Secretary of the Agency of Natural Resources. Prior to becoming ANR’s Cabinet Secretary, Wibs had been Vice-President for Community and Government Relations at the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation.
Arthur J. Rocque, Jr.
Arthur J. Rocque, Jr., former Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, was hired as a staff member when the department was being created in 1972. He worked for six commissioners in technical and managerial positions. Initially hired to work on developing air pollution regulations, he was assigned to many different programs before being appointed assistant commissioner of the Office of Long Island Sound Programs in 1990, assistant commissioner of Air, Waste and Water Programs in 1994 and commissioner in October 1997. When he retired in October 2004, he had a list of accomplishments. Among them: creation of Connecticut’s Office of Long Island Sound Programs; creation of the most comprehensive mercury reduction program in the nation; putting in place one of the nation’s first clean school bus programs in Norwich; leading state’s efforts to acquire more than 50,000 acres in open space over a six- year period, and developing the state’s comprehensive Clean Marina Program. He also taught numerous seminars in colleges and universities throughout the northeast on environmental resource management and regulation. We honor Art for a lifetime of service protecting the environment in Connecticut and beyond.
Elsie Souza embodies a driving passion and dedication for the people of New Bedford. Souza speaks with a soft voice, but when she speaks her quiet intensity commands respect and her insight speaks volumes. Souza’s dedication to the people and environs of New Bedford runs deep. Born and raised in New Bedford, Souza taught in the public schools for 25 years as a special education teacher. She joined Congressman Barney Frank’s New Bedford office as Office Manager in 1993. For the past twelve years, she has worked tirelessly on behalf of the citizens of New Bedford. Her advocacy of issues important to local residents has been instrumental in the PCB cleanup of New Bedford Harbor. The environmental regulatory agencies rely on her ability to understand multiple vantage points and synthesize the issues. She has earned the deep respect from her community and from those with whom she works. Souza will be greatly missed after her relocation to Florida, but she leaves a legacy that will continue to impact New Bedford for years to come.
Frederick J. Vincent
Frederick J. Vincent has over 30 years of professional and management experience in municipal and state government. He joined the RI Department of Environmental Management in July of 1991 as associate director for policy and administration. Prior to this, he served as deputy director of the Rhode Island Department of Transportation from April 1986 to June 1991. Vincent’s long career in government service includes deputy chief of staff to former Governor Edward DiPrete, and director of the City Plan Commission in Cranston, RI. During his 14-year tenure at DEM, Vincent twice served as the Department’s acting director, most recently from November 2003 until his retirement from public service in April 2005. In his capacity as a senior administrator for the Department, Vincent has overseen a staff of more than 500 employees and the development and coordination of multi-million dollar annual operating budgets and five-year capital budgets. He played a pivotal role in bringing numerous DEM projects and initiatives to fruition, among them Waterplace Park, the Blackstone River Bikeway, and Roger Wheeler State Beach. A tireless advocate for protecting the environment, Vincent has served on numerous state boards and commissions, including the Capital Center Commission’s Design Review Committee, RI Historic Preservation Commission, Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor Commission, RI Greenways Council, Transportation Enhancement Committee, and the Transportation Advisory Committee for the RI State Planning Council.
Lexington, Mass., Superintendent of Environmental Services
Robert Beaudoin, Superintendent of Environmental Services for Lexington, oversees curbside waste and recycling in the town. Although Robert was hired to run the Pay as You Throw program, this program was tossed out by a court and he had to continue to reduce trash while increasing recycling rates. Robert managed to do this through a number of methods, including: public recycling receptacles; recycling flyers and hazardous waste postcards sent to homes; free recycling boxes to civic organizations; complementary kitchen scrap composting buckets; and a public fluorescent bulb recovery program. Robert also manages the regional Minuteman Household Hazardous Products Facility at the former landfill, where nearly 4,000 cars delivered products in 2004. His most daunting challenge was developing a composting program that maximized the breakdown of yard waste and made the program self sufficient. He negotiated with another town to deliver yard waste to this facility, then marketed compost products to local landscape companies. In the past year, Robert has improved the environmental health of the town, earning him a nomination for this award from the town DPW and the local Chamber of Commerce.
Mass. Department of Public Health, Radiation Control Program
William Bell has made outstanding efforts to reduce lung cancer deaths associated with radon exposure and has played a national role in radon exposure reduction. As coordinator of the Massachusetts State Radon Control Program, Bill educates school districts, communities and individuals about the hazards of exposure to radon. For example, in 2003, after learning from Bill about the health risks of radon exposure, officials at the Swift River Elementary School in Belchertown voluntarily tested the school and found radon levels above EPA action level in 34 of 87 locations at the school. School officials worked with Bill to prevent radon gas from entering the school. Five permanent radon mitigation systems were installed and follow-up testing verified the system protected students and staff. In addition to his work to reduce radon exposure, Bill chairs the national radon subcommittee of the Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors, frequently presenting at regional and national conferences. He wins accolades for his expertise and his willingness to help with a difficult radon problem anywhere in the U.S. We give Bill credit for his dedication to this issue.
Connecticut Department of Public Health
Richard Edmonds, Assistant Chief of Staff at the Connecticut Department of Public Health, has been an innovator in protecting public health and improving environmental conditions for children at schools and day care centers. Thanks to Richard, Connecticut is a national leader in efforts to protect the health of children in environments away from home. Among other things, Richard commissioned a project to improve the drinking water infrastructure at public schools after he saw that several schools were struggling with drinking water issues. Richard had his engineers evaluate the water at all 147 schools with private supplies. He partnered with the state Department of Education for funding. Almost all of the schools surveyed used the chance to correct violations. Richard also collaborated with the Daycare Licensing Division to ensure a center cannot be licensed until a division engineer approves of the water safety. Richard has also been a leader in other public health and environmental arenas, including lead prevention, asbestos, food protection, sewage disposal, and indoor air.
American Red Cross - Providence Metro Division
Although not generally a soldier in the environmental field, Normand Menard and his staff at the Red Cross deserve an award for their work during a mercury incident in September 2004. During this incident, vandals took some 20 pounds of elemental mercury from a facility in Pawtucket, spilling half at the facility and half on the grounds of an apartment complex. Dozens of individuals in a variety of organizations completed the clean-up by Christmas. The Red Cross, working under Normand, filled the basic needs of residents from, providing clothing, food and shelter after the initial evacuation. They responded with confidence, respect and grace under pressure, according to Robert Vanderslice, Chief of the Office of Environmental Health Risk Assessment in the RI Department of Health. The professionalism of the Red Cross led by Normand, gave emergency response leaders confidence that their decisions on evacuation will not be clouded by concerns about the quality of residents lives if they are forced to leave their homes.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Ten years ago, V.A. Sridhar, an environmental engineer with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, was assigned to help clean a landfill at the Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge in Middletown, RI. Mr. Sridhar's expertise guided the project, removing a public health risk. From 1958 to 1973, Middletown operated a landfill on 21 acres bordering a town beach and campground. Soil contaminants were found on this site, which could have qualified as a superfund site, if it were privately owned. Sridhar was charged with investigating the site and designed a clean-up plan that called for recycling household appliances and 200 tires, safe disposal of hazardous waste and consolidating some 60,000 cubic yards of material on site. His respect for wildlife led to a design that let Fish and Wildlife restore 15 acres of native coastal grasslands and 15 acres of salt marsh. Sen. Lincoln Chafee, who nominated Sridhar, said he possesses a “wonderful ability to find solutions that achieve the greatest public good. He is a credit to the Service and has made lasting contributions to the recovery of the environment in Rhode Island.”
Eel River Watershed Association
Thanks to one person, Mettie Whipple, the Eel River is beginning to rank as one of the town of Plymouth's most cherished resources. Whipple is a selfless advocate for rivers that face unprecedented rates of growth in their watersheds. When a treatment plant was proposed with a groundwater discharge in the Eel River watershed, Mettie was concerned about the impact on the river. A graphic designer by trade, she learned the ropes of regulations, ecology and wastewater treatment and raised issues concerning the impacts of the wastewater. Over the past year, Mettie has helped negotiate an agreement between the town and local golf course to use the effluent for irrigation. Mettie is also the Eel River's publicist, having founded the Eel River Watershed Association. Mettie's success goes beyond the Eel River watershed. She helped found the Watershed Action Alliance, to work on water withdrawal impacts and identify commonalities in rivers and watersheds. We believe Mettie deserves an EPA Annual Merit Award for all her efforts on behalf of the environment.
Environmental, Community, Academia, & Non-profit Organizations
Blackstone River Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring Team
The Blackstone River Watershed Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring Program evaluates water quality throughout the Blackstone watershed. This effort includes the Blackstone Headwaters Coalition in the Worcester region, the Blackstone River Watershed Association in the mid-reach of the watershed, and the Blackstone River Watershed Council in Rhode Island. Other partners are Mass Audubon and the John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley Heritage Corridor Commission. Working with business organizations and government agencies, the team makes up the Blackstone River Coalition, which is working jointly toward the goal of a fishable/swimmable Blackstone River by 2015. The Blackstone River Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring Team created this monitoring program in 2004, connecting volunteers from Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Three watershed organizations were linked and a plan on data collection and monitoring was developed. The team monitors 80 locations with 70 volunteers on a monthly basis April to November. In 2004, the team stopped three companies from discharging toxic cleaning solvents into a small stream. Equally impressive, the Blackstone Team in 2004 received more than $100,000 in funding to sustain the program into 2006. The Blackstone Team should be congratulated for its true grassroots leadership to take action to improve the water quality of this American Heritage River.
Gary Kaplan, Executive Director, JFY NetWorks
Sally Turner, Director, Groundwork Providence
Gary Kaplan, executive director of JFY NetWorks, Inc. in Boston, and Sally Turner, director of Groundwork Providence in Providence, RI, each oversee EPA grants under the Brownfields Job Training Program. They are outstanding national models of what the program is meant to accomplish. JFY NetWorks was one of the first recipients of an EPA Brownfields Job Training Grant in 1998 and has been awarded three more grants since. It prepares graduates for jobs as entry-level environmental technicians. Groundwork Providence has also been a model for the Brownfields Job Training Program. The curriculum at Groundwork Providence has been designed with input from local employers, educators, RI DEM staff, and occupational health and safety experts. These efforts at job training let disadvantaged residents of communities participate in revitalizing their neighborhoods. The job opportunities help improve the self esteem of people who have had many obstacles preventing them from developing careers. Although training students is important, generating jobs in the environmental field is key to their successful programs. Both Gary and Sally have succeeded in getting commitments from employers, which contributed to the high placement rate of students. Their success in this endeavor provides an example for other environmental job training providers.
Coalition for Environmentally Responsible
The Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Conventions was created to make the 2004 Democratic National Convention a showcase for environmental best practices. Under the leadership of Daniel Ruben, CERC's executive director, successfully “greened” the Democratic Convention and also expanded to include the 2004 Republican National Convention. Participants include organizations and individuals from the commercial, government, and non-profit sectors; and volunteer professionals in the fields of energy, transportation, waste management, hotels, green buildings, and use of local food. Convention organizers from both parties cooperated. Some of the coalitions’ most important achievements included: purchase of 500 renewable energy credits to match electricity use at the Fleet Center; persuading the NYC Host Committee to buy 474 wind energy credits for Madison Square Garden; persuading Hyatt Regency Boston to divert food waste for composting, and helping Shawmut Design and Construction maximize building material reuse and recycling for the Fleet Center renovation. The coalition also persuaded General Motors to send eight hybrid buses to both conventions. The coalition's media strategy resulted in 90 articles about environmental best practices, and seven television and radio features. This coalition showed how a mostly volunteer organization could bring attention to a national imperative: to adopt practices and technologies that protect against global warming.
Coastal Recycling Center
Hancock , Maine
The Coastal Recycling Center has operated for 14 years thanks to a citizen-based initiative and support from surrounding towns. Coastal provides a central place for packaging, storing and shipping materials to be recycled. Staffed with part-time workers, the center receives deliveries from individuals, towns or companies interested in having raw materials packaged for shipment to the Maine Municipal Recycling Association. The town of Hancock leases the land and building to Coastal Recycling at no cost. Before Coastal was founded, virtually all recyclables went to the landfill or incinerator. Now, hundreds of residents have started recycling and hundreds of tons have been diverted from the waste stream. With recycling experiencing a drop in support nationally, Coastal last year was faced with the possibility of closing or being ‘privatized’. Coastal’s board rescued the operation. Changes made by the board have made it possible for other towns and companies to participate, increasing volume and income. The board is encouraging more use of the facility through awareness of the beneficial aspects of recycling. Many member communities have gone to a ‘pay as you throw’ system, prompting some residents to recycle. When it learned many organizations would recycle but lacked the manpower to deliver recyclables, board members recruited volunteers to ‘adopt’ an area business, school or other entity. As a result, several area businesses are now recycling. Coastal has withstood the test of time and still strives to provide recycling services to this rural coastal region.
The Institute for Sustainable Energy—
Eastern Connecticut State University
The Institute for Sustainable Energy at Eastern Connecticut State University has taken the lead by putting in place three environmental initiatives adopted in the Connecticut Climate Change Action Plan. Each of the initiatives is earmarked for application statewide to meet targets set by the Climate Change Action Plans of both the state and the New England Governors/Eastern Canadian Premiers. The institute’s strategy leverages resources from EPA that help managers assess their buildings and the local utility conservation programs to improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions among energy users that typically lack resources to address these issues. The institute helps eight communities identify inefficient public facilities. It has investigated efficiency at more than 100 public schools and public municipal buildings. The process helps building managers target resources to improve energy efficiency and encourages communities to work together to attract outside funding. The analysis of schools revealed that Connecticut’s schools are generally inefficient, with a potential to reduce energy consumption by one third through conservation. The state has turned to the institute for work on its largest facilities. The institute assessed energy efficiency at the six largest office buildings of the Conn. Department of Public Works and is asking the institute to look at 30 more state facilities. The state of Connecticut has 1,400 office buildings and is facing a serious budget shortfall, making conservation a high priority. Institute provides technical resources and support to schools and challenges them to take a comprehensive approach to lowering energy use.
Leominster Land Trust
The Leominster Land Trust was established in 1998 to protect and preserve the lands and waters of the Leominster region for their ecological, historic and scenic values. This region is facing intense growth pressures that are transforming the region's farms and forests to new residential, commercial and industrial land uses. Water supplies and rare wildlife habitats have been threatened by this growth, while “supporting natural landscapes” need protection. At the same time, population growth has increased the demand for outdoor recreation in the area. Volunteers with the Leominster Land Trust have worked over the past year to preserve more than 100 acres of open space and wildlife habitats through fee acquisitions and conservation agreements. They have also worked with municipal officials to protect more than 1,000 acres of water supply watersheds and other natural resources. In addition, the trust has helped city officials increase the minimum lot size in water supply watersheds and has expanded the nine-mile trail system that links Leominster State Forest with local conservation lands. Environmental education and outdoor recreation programs have been put in place while the trust has identified pollution sources that impact Leominster’s water supplies and recreational waters. The innovative and successful activities of the Leominster Land Trust have been shared with local and regional conservation organizations.
Maine Rural Water Association
The Maine Rural Water Association helps small, rural public drinking water systems by giving technical help and training to their staff. Rural water utilities are often caught between their mission to provide clean, safe drinking water, and a lack of resources. These rural water providers are often staffed by dedicated volunteers that must act as board of directors, superintendent, meter readers, office and maintenance staff. When problems arise, these systems lack the technical, professional and financial resources to fulfill their mission. The Maine Rural Water Association helps small systems by providing on-site assistance, help with securing grants, development of source water protection plans and outreach and education for children. In 2004 the association visited 482 systems, helping them resolve a total of 586 water quality violations. The association also provided multiple training classes with 2,951 attendees representing 1376 systems. With only 2,200 public systems in Maine, the association reached two-thirds of the regulated community. This past year the association garnered more than $2.2 million in federal funding for six public water systems.
Memorial Middle School—Safe and Healthy Schools Team— EMS
Kevin Perkins, Dave Brochu, Norm Anderson, Brant Miller, Susan Pendleton, Susan Comyns, Stephen Morneault, John Hebert, Madeline Akeley, Ginny Mott
Like many schools in New England, Memorial Middle School faces a wide range of environmental, health and safety issues. The South Portland experience began with a vision of bringing together educators, health professionals and environmental regulators to pilot a comprehensive approach to managing environmental, health and safety issues by creating an Environmental Management System (EMS). Through a two-year EPA grant, South Portland's EMS team helped the school develop a basic framework, and, in partnership with National Institution for Occupational Safety and Health, applied it to an indoor air quality problem at the school. School personnel identified the source of a mold problem, which was the cause of staff complaints, and developed a process to resolve the problem. The project involved collaboration with a team assembled by the American Lung Association of Maine. Memorial Middle School has shared its experiences internally through training meetings and newsletters to parents, and externally, through participation in the American Lung Association's Safe and Healthy Schools network, at a regional symposium, and on the schools’ web site. In the end, the team found that the documentation created through developing an EMS is not as important as the journey that was taken to change the way the school manages environmental concerns.
The Mystic River Watershed Association
The Mystic River Watershed Association’s main aim is to make the Mystic River fishable and swimmable by 2010, but it has expanded its overall mission throughout the years. Combining community involvement with hands-on outreach, the association has become an environmental leader in New England. In 2004 its efforts were targeted at advocacy; monitoring and research; and outreach and education. The association has promoted watershed protection and clean-up efforts by partnering with Tufts University and other area schools to conduct monitoring and involve local communities and students in clean-up efforts. The association's water quality monitoring has been shared with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and EPA. Through unique events, the association promotes community awareness. For instance, the annual Herring Run Road Race has become a community favorite, following the route of the returning herring. The volunteer clean-up effort along the Mystic River drew more than 100 volunteers to last year's event. From its humble beginning over 30 years ago, the Mystic River Watershed Association has developed into a forceful and respected organization.
Shawsheen River Watershed Association
Founder Bob Rauseo and the members of the Shawsheen River Watershed Association, don’t just talk about cleaning up the Shawsheen River—they do it. Wading into the river to retrieve rusted shopping carts, bald tires and countless other unused artifacts several times a year, the members of the Shawsheen River Watershed Association have turned this previously fetid little stream into a tranquil resource enjoyed by six surrounding towns. Bob says he’s encountered everything from washing machines and refrigerators to ski bindings and rifle parts in the river in the 20 years he and others have been cleaning it. Every year a handful of the organization’s faithful wade waist deep in mud to wrest shopping carts and other debris from the river. Last year volunteers cleaned up what could be called the Alast section@ of the 24-mile river. From the headwaters in Bedford to the Stevens Street dam in east Andover, the river bottom and banks have been scoured. A four-mile stretch of abandoned tires and oil drums stands between this year’s cleanup crew and where the Shawsheen connects to the Merrimack River.
Maine Drinking Water Program
Nancy Beardsley, director of the Maine Drinking Water Program in the state Department of Human Services, has been a leader in protection of the state's drinking water. Since Nancy took over Maine's Drinking Water program in 2000, the once beleaguered program has thrived. A 1999 EPA audit of the program had identified serious program deficiencies, including conflicting procedures, low staff morale and inconsistent directions to staff. Under Nancy, the program has turned from problematic to exemplary. She has worked with Bureau of Health management to upgrade many positions, resulting in higher pay scales and higher job satisfaction. In addition, she has instituted frequent management/staff interactions, with regular staff meetings and feedback procedures. The results speak for themselves: the Maine DW program has taken the lead in New England. Maine was the first state in the region to partner with EPA and offer training to water systems on compliance issues with the Arsenic Rule. Four workshops were offered in 2003 that are now models for training several New England states, and the Maine program is working directly with more than 120 affected water systems to define arsenic problems and determine treatment alternatives. Since Nancy took the reins, Maine's DW program has developed a reputation as a strong leader on source water protection and other important drinking water issues.
Indian Health Service-Bangor Area Office
Dana Baer, Phillip Rapp, Ken Grant, Al Weeks, Maryellen Sockabasin
The Bangor Area Office of the Indian Health Service has protected the health and safety of Indian tribes in New England—specifically through its use of EPA’s Drinking Water and Wastewater Programs. This office offered immediate help to both the EPA and the tribes by prioritizing funding for improvements to drinking water and wastewater treatment projects. Since 1999, the office has managed more than 15 tribal water and wastewater improvement projects. This award also honors Dana Baer, a Tribal Utility Coordinator for the office and other Indian Health Services staff: Phillip Rapp, Ken Grant, Al Weeks and Maryellen Sockabasin. Dana and her staff have helped tribes by providing training sessions, troubleshooting operation and water quality problems, delineating source water areas, drawing up plans for completed infrastructure projects, performing construction inspections, and becoming a valuable resource in dealing with any issue confronting a tribe on these projects. The office initiated a mapping project that shows every infrastructure asset for Maine tribes on digital aerial maps that can easily be imported into mapping software. This work has generated unsolicited praise from the tribes, from co-workers and from EPA personnel.
Mass. Executive Office of Environmental Affairs -
Environmental Justice Outreach
Tony Chaves and Kwabena Kyei-Aboagye, Jr.
Tony Chaves and Kwabena Kyei-Aboagye, Jr. worked in the past year to advance environmental justice throughout Massachusetts. They created five regional EJ Outreach Teams that brought together representatives from non-profit organizations, state and federal agencies, municipalities and regional planning agencies, colleges and universities and businesses. These teams worked to reduce or eliminate Environmental Justice issues in the state. In 2004, the teams hosted the Sustainable Cleaner Manufacturing Conference in Worcester and the Environmental Justice Across the Mystic Summit in Somerville. In addition, through the Outreach Teams, the EJ program identified 15 projects that need to raise some $ 46 .1 million between July 2004 and June 2005. The Outreach Teams have also identified community-based projects that can be considered for potential Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act mitigation or that should be considered as Supplemental Environmental Projects in the state’s enforcement program. The work Tony and Kwabena have done has pushed community groups, local, state and federal government agencies and academia to think and act to promote environmental justice in the state.
New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services Quality Assurance
Vincent Perelli, Robert Minicucci, Rachel Rainey, William Hall, Andrew Chapman, Thomas Croteau, Vicki Whittemore, Kendall Perkins, Sharon Perkins, Wendy Bonner
Vincent Perelli, Robert Minicucci, and the NH Department of Environmental Services Quality Assurance Team successfully developed and put in place a quality data system that is a model for state agencies across New England. The team showed outstanding leadership in promoting systematic collection and use of quality data for NH environmental programs. Vincent Perelli, QA Manager, and Robert Minicucci, Assistant QA Manager, identified a need for a system that ensured all environmental data collected and used would be scientifically defensible and would be sufficient to support the work of programs. Under Vince and Bob’s strong leadership and technical guidance, QA Team members have developed and put in place policies, processes and procedures within their individual programs. The team wove these outputs into a well-defined quality system. By systematizing project planning and standardizing technical processes, the QA Team has rea1ized measurable efficiencies in conducting environmental projects while promoting good science. The QA Team streamlined the process for documenting QA project plans and ensuring data quality by using model formats and standard operating procedures. By instituting a centralized, internal QA plan review and approval process, environmental projects are more likely to meet objectives and EPA plan approvals are streamlined. The “plan-do-check-adapt” system has now spread to all levels of the organization. The QA Team has established a solid framework of quality within the organization which the NH DES Senior Leadership Team reinforces through regular communications to the staff.
RI Department of Environmental Management - Smart Growth and
Scott Millar and Jim Riordan
Scott Millar and Jim Riordan of the RI Department of Environmental Management have led the way in developing, drafting and producing exceptional guidance manuals that help communities protect natural resources while encouraging smart growth principles. Many cities and towns are struggling to revitalize their urban centers and stem sprawl, while responding to environmental requirements. Managing these sometimes conflicting responsibilities is difficult even for large cities with full-time professional staff, but is almost impossible for smaller towns that rely heavily on citizen volunteers. In response, Scott Millar and Jim Riordan led DEM's efforts to produce an exceptional series of workbooks, case studies, and other materials to guide developers and local officials on using smart growth principles. They produced the South County Design Manual, the RI Conservation Development Manual, the Urban Environmental Design Manual, and the Rhode Island Stormwater Manual. Each manual highlights sites selected to illustrate specific development issues, such as sub-divisions, brownfields, large-scale facilities, and incorporating new buildings in urban areas.
Vermont Department of Health
Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program
In 2003, 68 percent of one-year olds in Vermont and 19 percent of two-year olds were tested for lead poisoning. Of those children tested, 3.9 percent of one-year olds and 6.2 percent of two-year olds had elevated blood lead levels. The Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program has mailed a postcard to all 142,000 households in the state with information on lead poisoning. This effort was also done in concert with a nationwide public service advertising campaign by federal agencies promoting Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, Oct. 14 -30, 2004. Posters were also posted prominently in high traffic areas in communities throughout the state; areas such as post offices, laundromats and libraries. The colorful and well-designed post card and poster generated much needed public awareness of the risks associate with lead-based paint. The accomplishment of these goals will result in measurable and lasting public health and environmental benefits. This project was a collaborative effort between the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, local departments of health; the Burlington Lead Program, and the Burlington Vermont Housing Authority. Such a public health message and marketing effort could easily be replicated and used widely in other areas.
Business, Industry, & Professional Organizations
Berman Associates is not your average real estate development company. Long before smart growth became a buzzword, Berman Associates was building projects that differed from the norm. Instead of building suburban sprawl on greenfields, Berman Associates built projects that reused land in urban areas, that included affordable housing, and neighborhood consultation and collaberation. They built one of the first affordable housing projects in a brownfields area in New England, Unity Village in Portland, Maine. Over the past year, Berman has been working on Brick Hill, a mixed-use development on the site of a former youth center in South Portland. Berman’s projects, including Brick Hill, are collaborations with the neighborhood as well as the city and the state. In addition, Richard Berman actively shares his knowledge and experience with other developers, planners, and agencies. Spreading the word not only about why smart growth is better, but also about how it has to be approached differently, is vitally important because developers listen to what other developers say. These projects take stamina, patience, and creativity. Berman Associates is a pioneer, and invaluable role model.
Cambridge Savings Bank
Cambridge Savings Bank is a community bank that recognizes the need to conserve energy and reduce air pollutants. Four years ago, the bank started an energy conservation program with a goal of reducing energy use by 5 percent. The bank’s efforts culminated in 2004 with energy savings in excess of 20 percent. The bank has achieved Energy Star labeling for seven buildings. The bank’s efforts have reduced emissions of sulfur dioxide by close to 4,470 pounds, nitrogen oxide by 1,575 pounds and carbon dioxide from electricity generation by 559,000 pounds. In order to achieve these results, the bank used the methods suggested by Energy Star, first benchmarking energy use, then putting in place a plan to reduce use while monitoring progress. The bank partnered with the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative to study the use of fuel cells, encourage the use of wind energy and to install and operate a photovoltaic system to generate electricity at its Newton Centre Branch. The Cambridge Savings Bank program could be easily replicated by other businesses. It relies on the Energy Star methodology and the support of employees. The program has already spread to the homes of many bank employees who report impressive savings in electric and heating bills.
Consigli Construction Co., Inc.
The impact of construction and demolition debris on the environment is staggering. More than 135 million tons of debris from construction sites is brought to U.S. landfills every year, making it the single largest source in the waste stream. In Massachusetts construction and demolition accounts for roughly 25 percent of landfill deposits and 95 percent of non-municipal solid waste stream. Working with the Massachusetts DEP, Consigli Construction has entered into a voluntary pilot study to help determine the possibilities of construction waste recycling. Consigli put in place a company-wide source separation and recycling program. The six materials (asphalt, brick, concrete, wood, metal and corrugated cardboard) targeted in the construction and demolition regulations are being regularly recycled, and ceiling tile, new scrap gypsum, carpet and other materials are also being included. Consigli is also supplying data to the Civil Engineering Department at Northeastern University in Boston, for use in a simulation model to predict construction site waste streams.
Hyatt Regency Boston
The Hyatt Regency Boston made a commitment in 2004 to continuously use environmentally friendly practices. The hotel industry can make a significant impact on protecting the environment. The Hyatt Regency Boston's green practices include using ice machines and kitchen refrigeration units cooled by air, instead of water. Guestroom faucet aerators were changed in 2004 from 2.5 to 2 gallons per minute. Hotel offices and back areas are almost all retrofitted with lights that conserve wattage. Every meeting and storage room is equipped with motion sensors to turn lights on and off. And every guest room has a programmable energy thermostat that is turned on at check-in and off at check-out. To limit energy, water, and detergent use, the hotel does not change linens and towels in guest rooms for up to three days unless requested by a guest. The hotel's recycling program includes everything from paper and bottles to electronic parts, fluorescent lamps and computer monitors. The latest component to this program is our barrel for compost and organic waste in the hotel kitchen. A key initiatives for the hotel's 2005 agenda is to convert the laundry system to an Ozone system.
Millipore's successful water conservation programs at its manufacturing facility in Jaffrey, NH deserve recognition. The company manufactures filtration devices that are used in high technology and high purity application industries. High purity water is required to test or rinse 90 percent of the products manufactured in Jaffrey. Reduction of water usage by reducing the percentage of products that require purified water was not an option. Reusing or recycling the water were the only options to reduce the number of gallons drawn from and then released to the environment. Ongoing water conservation efforts over the last two years at the facility have resulted in the conservation of almost 800,000 gallons of water per month (or 27,000 gallons per day). Millipore has significantly reduced its water use by retrofitting its reverse osmosis water treatment system and by re-routing rejected water from the treatment system to toilet facilities used by some 380 employees. Millipore’s efforts to conserve water have not only alleviated stresses on the local aquifer, but have also resulted in a reduction in chemical use, wastewater disposal, and energy consumption.
The New Hampshire Lakes Association
The New Hampshire Lakes Association is dedicated to preventing expansion by exotic aquatic plant species in the state’s 900 or more lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams. In New Hampshire, 64 surface water bodies are already infested with exotic aquatic plants. These invaders were first introduced by attaching to, and then detaching from, boats and trailers in the 1960s. They have spread to other water bodies by recreational boaters. The NH Lakes Association has used education and legislative advocacy to tackle the problem. The association received federal funds in 2002 to establish a pilot program to staff public access sites with volunteers and paid inspectors to ensure boats were free of attached exotic species plants. The association has since sought annual funding to expand the program. Over the past three years, this Lake Hosts program has “saved” 27 water bodies from inadvertent invasions by these exotic aquatic plants. The association has grown into an invaluable extension of the state Exotic Species Program and has produced measurable results in slowing (or preventing) the spread of exotic aquatic species.
Nordx Company, a 450-employee medical laboratory that supports the Maine Medical Center, has been more than just complying with environmental laws for several years. As a member of the Maine DEP Step Up program, Nordx has done a compliance inspection and corrected any violations found. Nordx was the first company to join the Maine Governor’s Carbon Challenge, committing to reduce its impact on the environment, including reducing fossil fuel consumption and associated emissions by 10 percent by 2006. Nordx has also committed to eliminating mercury from the facility by 2005. It has reduced its generation of hazardous waste by 20 percent and is also focusing on solid waste, recycling cardboard, and paper. What sets Nordx apart from other good facilities is its desire to mentor. When the Nordx EH&S manager gets a call from another lab, she drops everything to spend a day showing them how to dispose of hazardous waste, and implement programs similar to those already mastered at Nordx. This dedication to the environment and commitment from top management earns Nordx an Environmental Merit Award.
Sarnafil Roofing Systems Inc.
Electricity shortages and ozone alerts have become a regular summer phenomenon in the region. Heightened energy demand and use elevates the rate of childhood asthma and increases respiratory ailments. Mitigating the negative impacts of development demands increased conservation and smart building codes. A strategy of installing white reflective roofing is one of the simplest and most cost-effective measures for reducing commercial and industrial electrical demand. The products of Sarnafil Roofing Systems Inc. are focused on this goal. Sarnafil has been a New England manufacturer of innovative roofing products for commercial and industrial markets for 25 years. Their philosophy of manufacturing roof materials goes beyond merely providing protection against elements it also offers a reflective material that minimizes heat gain and enhances the insulation factor, directly reducing a building’s energy demand. Once installed, reflective roofs passively provide a continuous energy saving component and do not add to smog or ground-forming ozone generation through heat island effects. Sarnafil has been committed to Energy Star 7 principles and is a charter partner in the Energy Star 7 Roof Products Program, promoting awareness of reflective roofing to developers installing new roofing. Sarnafil has been informing state DEPs that they can use reflective roofing as an approved strategy in the formation of their State Implementation Plans to achieve air quality compliance thresholds.
New England Performance Track Facilities
The 33 New England facilities that are now part of EPA’s National Environmental Performance Track program have voluntarily achieved environmental improvements that go beyond mere compliance. They have implemented environmental management systems that strengthen their performance; have publicly committed to specific environmental improvements that go above and beyond regulatory requirements; and have committed to reporting on their progress annually. Among other results, nationwide the Performance Track facilities have reduced their energy use by 8,466,262 MMBTUs; reduced their water use by 1,341,708,688; and reduced their use of hazardous materials by 16,420 tons. Performance Track members are demonstrating that environmental leadership and business success can go hand-in-hand, and that environmental agencies and the regulated community can effectively work together to achieve a cleaner and healthier environment.
The following are the New England Performance Track facilities:
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Wallingford
Covanta Mid-Connecticut, Inc., Hartford
Southeastern Connecticut Resource Recovery Facility, Preston
United States Postal Service - Hartford Processing and Distribution Center
United States Postal Service - Hartford Vehicle Maintenance Facility
Bath Iron Works, Bath
Fairchild Semiconductor Corporation, South Portland
Interface Fabrics Group, Guilford Facility
International Paper - Androscoggin Mill
International Paper - Bucksport Mill
Nexfor Fraser Papers Inc., Madawaska
Acushnet Rubber Company, Inc., DBA Precix, Inc., New Bedford
DePuy Orthopaedics, New Bedford
DePuy Orthopaedics, Raynham
Gillette Andover Manufacturing Center, Andover
Interface Fabrics Group, Inc., - East Douglas Facility, East Douglas
PerkinElmer Optoelectronics, Salem
Rohm and Haas Electronic Materials, LLC, Marlborough
SEMASS Resource Recovery Facility, Rochester
Topflite Golf Company, Chicopee
Teradyne (Building 1), North Reading
Texas Instruments-Sensors & Controls, Attleboro
U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod, ASCC
BAE Systems -- Information and Electronic Systems Integration, Inc.
Goss International, Dover
Henkel Corporation, Seabrook
New Hampshire Ball Bearings, Peterborough
New Hampshire Ball Bearings, Inc., Astro Division, Laconia
Osram Sylvania Products, Inc., Hillsborough
Teradyne, Inc., Nashua
TransCanada Hydro Northeast, Inc.
Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division, Newport
IBM Corporation, Essex Junction
Hospitals for a Healthy Environment
Hospitals for a Healthy Environment (H2E) is a joint program of EPA, the American Hospital Association, the American Nurses Association and Health Care Without Harm that aims to improve environmental performance in the health care sector. The H2E program is creating a national movement for environmental sustainability in health care. The goals of H2E are to eliminate the use of mercury in the health care sector by 2005; to cut health care waste in half by 2010; and to identify and eliminate persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic chemicals in the health care system. As of May 10, 2005, there are 1,017 H2E partners nationally, representing 4,270 health care facilities that have joined H2E and are committed to achieving those goals.
The following are H2E 2005 Award winners in New England:
2005 H2E Champion Award for Champions that have taken a leadership role in promoting H2E goals to their members, and whose members have implemented programs in support of these goals.
New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services
2005 Partner Recognition Award for their work in moving towards the H2E goals:
Mid Coast Hospital, Brunswick, ME
2005 Making Medicine Mercury Free Award , one-time award given to facilities that have virtually eliminated mercury and have developed policies to sustain the elimination:
New Britain General Hospital, New Britain, CT
Kent Hospital, Warwick, RI
Somerville Hospital, Somerville, MA
Whidden Hospital, Cambridge, MA
2005 Partners for Change Award for making significant progress reducing waste and eliminating mercury and preventing pollution in measurable, sustainable ways:
Cambridge Hospital, Cambridge, MA
Somerville Hospital, Somerville, MA
Whidden Hospital, Cambridge, MA
Baystate Health System, Springfield, MA
Cooley Dickinson Hospital, Northampton, MA
Hartford Hospital, Hartford, CT
2005 Sustained Environmental Leadership Award for previous Environmental Leadership award winners who continue to set the highest standard of excellence in innovative and sustainable environmental performance. These leaders are distinguished by their pioneering efforts to reduce the impact of health care on the environment.
Dartmouth- Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC), Lebanon, NH (2003, 2004 Award Winner)
Energy Star Awards
Partner of the Year—Excellence
in Energy Efficiency and Environmental Education
The Northeast Energy Star 7 Lighting and Appliance Initiative Members:
Cape Light Compact, Connecticut Light & Power,
Efficiency Vermont, The Long Island Power Authority, Massachusetts
Electric, Nantucket Electric, Narragansett Electric, NSTAR
Electric, The United Illuminating Company, Unitil, and Western
Massachusetts Electric Company
In 2004, the Northeast Energy Star 7 Lighting and Appliance Initiative members, working through the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP), continued their outstanding collaborative effort to promote Energy Star 7 qualified lighting and appliances throughout the region, with the ultimate goal of increasing market share for these products. Strategies include consumer education, market actor partnerships, retail partner education and product incentives. Lighting promotions leveraged $10 million in manufacturer discounts and a half a million dollars in industry marketing to sell more than 3 million Energy Star 7 qualified products. Similarly, appliance promotions leveraged $500,000 in manufacturer promotions and resulted in 12,000 efficient appliances being sold. This year, the sponsors also supported radio and newspaper advertising featuring Steve Thomas, television’s renovation and design expert, in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont and Long Island, New York, including airtime during broadcasts of the New England Patriots football and Boston Red Sox baseball games. As a result of these efforts, participating NEEP sponsors saw the market share of Energy Star 7 qualifying clothes washers increase from 32 to 48 percent in 2004.
Partner of the Year—Excellence
in Promoting Superior Energy Performance
NSTAR Electric is one of the largest investor-owned electric and gas utilities in Massachusetts. With more than 1.4 million residential and business customers in more than 100 eastern Massachusetts communities, including the greater Boston area, NSTAR has made great strides in establishing a new model for delivering energy-efficiency services. In 2004, NSTAR utilized EPA’s energy performance rating system as the centerpiece for an innovative commercial sector pilot effort to educate customers on the overall energy performance of their buildings. As a result of this initiative, the utility benchmarked more than 7 million square feet of facility space for commercial and industrial customers and offered each customer a comprehensive Energy Efficiency Opportunity Assessment (EEOA) that recommends low-cost/no-cost operational measures, building envelope improvements, as well as capital improvements. To encourage implementation of the recommended measures, NSTAR offered rebates and established other programs for energy-efficient products and improvements. Most of the participating customers have taken steps toward saving energy.
Partner of the Year—Leadership
in Energy Management
The Saunders Hotel Group
The Saunders Hotel Group’s commitment to environmental stewardship dates back to the 1980s when the company was internationally recognized for pioneering ecotourism. Executives subsequently created the “Saunders Hotel Initiatives to Nurture the Environment” (S.H.I.N.E) program, which includes a company-wide pledge to conserve energy and improve performance. Regular energy benchmarking and tracking, in concert with monthly “Green Team” meetings, promote effective communications and help inform business decisions. Major projects have included: using EPA’s energy performance rating system to assess the efficiency of its properties, installing heat pumps, adding lighting and heating controls, installing water-saving devices that reduce natural gas and water use, and focusing on operating and maintenance procedures. In 2004, The Saunders Hotel Group saved the equivalent of selling more than 4,700 guest rooms at the average daily rate.
Partner of the Year—Product Manufacturer
As the number-one lighting manufacturer in North America, SYLVANIA is dedicated to leading the cause for excellence in the manufacture and promotion of energy-efficient products. In 2004 SYLVANIA increased its Energy Star 7 qualified product line by 50 percent over 2003 by adding eight new Energy Star 7 qualified compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs. New incandescent replacement products focused on key features including energy savings of up to 78 percent; crisp, clean CFL lighting; and specialty products, such as 3-way CFLs. The company also led the way with developing education programs for end users. SYLVANIA held seminars for the commercial and industrial community at its Lightpoint educational facility and created the first-ever “See Energy in a New Light” seminar, which was designed to educate and inform lighting designers and engineers about available lighting solutions that address new technology and Federal energy codes. These initiatives, coupled with installation of energy-efficient products and environmental programs at its facilities, demonstrate SYLVANIA’s superior commitment to energy efficiency and a cleaner environment.
Environmental Leaders of the Future:
Since 1971, the Environmental Protection Agency has sponsored the President’s Environmental Youth Awards (PEYA) Program. Young people from around the country are invited annually to participate in the awards program which is aimed at encouraging individuals, school classes, summer camps, public interest groups, and youth organizations to promote environmental awareness and positive community involvement. One outstanding project from each region is selected for national honors.
It is with pleasure that we honor EPA New England’s 2005 PEYA recipient, Megan Larcom, for her positive contribution to environmental education in her community.
Putting the Forest Back Into Forest Avenue
Megan Larcom (10th grade when she conducted this project. She’s in
11th grade now) Middletown High School Middletown, Rhode Island
With earth’s natural resources dwindling, Megan Larcom, a student of Middletown High School in Middletown, Rhode Island, decided to pursue a project that focused on preservation of the environment through proper use of renewable and nonrenewable natural resources. Specifically, Megan’s goals were to (1) teach a group of Forest Avenue Elementary School students about natural resources and the significance of Earth Day and Arbor Day, (2) lead an event that the students could participate in and the entire school could benefit from, and (3) help educate the community about preservation of the environment by displaying student artwork with environmental themes.
To meet her goals, Megan first conducted extensive research on preservation of the environment. She then created lesson plans for teaching fourth-grade students at Forest Avenue Elementary School. The lesson plans included interactive, hands-on activities that focused on renewable and nonrenewable resources, recycling, and the benefits of having a clean planet.
Megan then led an activity in which the fourth-grade students planted a beech tree outside the school. Prior to the event, the students had learned about the history and significance of Earth Day and Arbor Day. Although only fourth graders participated in the planting of the tree, the entire school benefited from its beauty and environmental advantages. The final element of Megan’s project involved promoting environmental awareness in her community. Megan arranged for 200 paper bags provided by a local supermarket chain to be decorated by students throughout the Middletown Public School District. The bags were decorated with student artwork related to Earth Day and Arbor Day themes. For example, phrases such as “Save Our Earth” and “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” were prominently displayed on the bags. During the week of Earth Day 2004, the bags were distributed to customers of the supermarket chain.
Megan’s project had a direct impact on many students in the Middletown Public School District, particularly the fourth-grade students of Forest Avenue Elementary School. Megan’s focused, fun-filled project helped many students understand that they can contribute to preservation of the environment no matter what their age--all they need to do is start today.