Region 1: EPA New England
2006 Environmental Merit Award Recipients
|By Category||By State
|Environmental, Community, Academia, & Non-profit Organizations||MA|
|Business, Industry, & Professional Organizations||RI|
Environmental Merit Awards
Jane K. Stahl, formed Deputy Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), joined the Department as an Environmental Analyst in the Office of Long Island Sound Programs in 1978. In the 27 years Deputy Commissioner Stahl worked at the Department, she held a number of managerial positions while helping the create one of the nation's strongest coastal management programs. Over the last eight years, she has served in the capacity of Deputy Commissioner, overseeing the operations of the Environmental Quality Branch of the Department. Under her leadership, the DEP continued to explore, develop and implement a number of innovative approaches to environmental protection, including enhancing the agency's environmental justice program, developing the agency's first multi-media strategic plan and developing and implementing the state's aquifer protection program. Her specific accomplishments include: overseeing the development and implementation of one of the most comprehensive mercury reduction programs in the nation, managing resource protection efforts that resulted in the Lower Connecticut (CT) River being recognized by the Ramsar Convention as a “Wetlands of International Importance”, developing CT's Nitrogen Credit Exchange Program, leading CT's efforts to establish Total Maximum Daily Load plans for all of the states waterways, coordinating the effort to create and manage the Silvio O. Conte Wildlife Refuge and providing leadership in balancing a number of large scale redevelopment projects—to name a few. We honor Jane for a lifetime of service
Lawyer, advocate and teacher, Alexandra has changed the landscape through her own direct efforts as well as through her influence on the work on the countless public officials and citizen she has inspired. She has devoted the past thirty-five years to environmental protection in Massachusetts and throughout New England. Her commitment is demonstrated by her long and concurrent service as Director of Legal Affairs for the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions (MACC), Co-Director of the Water Supply Citizens Advisory Committee, and Director of the Resource Management and Administration Program at Antioch in New Hampshire. Over her long career, Ms. Dawson has always been an activist. She has written columns for newspapers, advocated for revisions to state regulations, opposed some projects and supported others. She is well known for her role as a consultant—not to project proponents but to cities, towns, and concerned citizens who struggle to find legal solutions to environmental and land use problems. She serves as a chair of her conservation commission in Hadley, and has developed and reviewed municipal bylaws and ordinances to protect wetlands resources. Alexandra's dedication, professionalism, talent and commitment to the environment will be remembered always and are honored today.
Judeth Van Hamm
Over the past three decades Judeth Van Hamm has dedicated herself to environmental causes ranging from a “sustainable” South Shore, climate change and recycling to preserving open space in her hometown of Hull, MA. Judeth has been instrumental in the development of the Weir River Estuary Park Land Protection Plan, which has been designated an Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC). The Weir River Estuary is one of the last remaining salt marshes in the Greater Boston area, and is the habitat to a variety of fish, shellfish and waterfowl. If it was not for Judeth's vision of keeping the Weir River Estuary Park “forever wild,” the habitat would have undoubtedly suffered much more encroachment. She has also led the development of the Weir River Estuary Center; a place where future generations of youth can learn and develop value for their environment. A community leader, Judeth has shared her vision, and led her community to make land preservation a priority in one of the most densely populated towns in the state. She is honored today for aiding Massachusetts in retaining
Having spent 30-plus years in environmental policy development and implementation, Ron Poltak has served as the executive director of the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC) since 1983. Under his leadership, NEIWPCC has dramatically increased activities to protect surface water; treat wastewater; address non-point source pollution, mercury and underground storage tanks; and expand training opportunities. Leading an organization that coordinates efforts among the six New England states and New York to protect and restore water quality is a daunting task. To provide such high quality leadership for nearly a quarter century is extraordinary. As executive director of NEIWPCC, Ron coordinates efforts between and among state administrations and agencies, federal agencies, Congress and other national organizations. He ensures that the organization serves the needs of member states, coordinates programs and direction among members, educates the public about critical water quality issues, and provides training programs serving several thousand environmental professions to help local people do their jobs better and more efficiently. Under Ron's guidance, NEIWPCC has undertaken a Regional Research Initiative to develop and implement a strategic approach to water resources research in the Northeast. Before joining NEIWPCC, Ron served in several influential and senior environmental positions in his native New Hampshire. These include being the Director of Parks and Recreation in N.H., serving in the Governor's office for 15 years, and other roles that made him instrumental at developing and directing environmental policy on a local and state level.
Having served seven terms as Mayor of Burlington, Vt., Peter Clavelle has been integrally involved in public service and city management for more than 30 years. Under his leadership, Burlington continued to gain international recognition for innovative programs to promote sustainable development and quality of life. Peter served on numerous local and state organizations which collectively promoted a clean environment and healthful living for Vermonters. Among his environmental accomplishments, the Burlington “Legacy Plan” stands out as a forward-looking effort to make Vermont's largest settlement “the nation's most sustainable city.” Under his tenure as Mayor, Burlington aggressively targeted childhood lead poisoning in older housing as a preventable health concern, worked to address and redevelop Brownfield properties, and became the first Vermont community to adopt mandatory curbside recycling. Peter Clavelle's legacy as Mayor and citizen is a city that has applied its environmental convictions in positive innovative ways to improve the community and health of its citizens.
Individual Environmental Awards
Anne D. (Andy) Burt
Environmental Justice Director, Maine Council of Churches
From her base as the Environmental Justice Director for the Maine Council of Churches, Andy Burt has demonstrated an enormous personal commitment to environmental protection. Her capacity to lift spirits, mobilize creativity and energize individuals, environmental organizations, congregations and government has resulted in a long list of accomplishments in recent years. From designing a “Let There Be Light” program where congregations audit and reduce their energy use resulting in a 2 million pound reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, to organizing over 35 local churches to “practice their faith by caring for creation” through the “Earthcare Team Initiative,” Andy's long list of accomplishments are seemingly endless. Other activities include: bringing together environmental groups and the Maine DEP to enact a pilot “Clean Air Zone” in Freeport, Maine, an anti-idling initiative aimed at changing public behavior; working as a key stakeholder in the development of “A Climate Action Plan for Maine 2004” which produced the first greenhouse gas plan in the nation developed to meet statutory emissions reductions; and developing a new initiative “Soul Food” in partnership with the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association to promote environmentally responsible farming for local food production and consumption.
Conservation Director, Town of Norton, Massachusetts
Jennifer Carlino is being recognized for her innovation and ambition to preserve open space and protect conservation areas in and around Norton, Mass. Through her determination and ingenuity, Ms. Carlino is directly responsible for the permanent preservation of over 119 acres of land and under Jennifer's direction the Town of Norton increased its acreage of permanently protected land from 9 percent to 19.5 percent. Ms. Carlino researched the deeds for conservation land and recorded the respective town meeting votes at the Registry of Deeds for property transferred to conservation management. The steps she took to record town meeting votes will prevent an accidental sale of protected land, a problem for most Massachusetts communities. Among many other notable preservation efforts Jennifer is responsible for: negotiating conservation restrictions within proposed residential developments in order to protect 18 acres along the Canoe River; negotiating conservation restrictions for 76 acres to protect a wildlife corridor extending from the Great Woods area to the Wading River; securing a 25-acre donation of land containing six vernal pools; certifying 19 vernal pools with the Mass. Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program; completing a survey for the Conservation Commission's 940 acres of protected land and water bodies; and authoring the Town of Norton's Five-year Open Space and Recreation Plan.
President, Friends of Alewife Reservation
Like few other people, Ellen Mass has brought many groups and individuals together to give the greater Alewife ecosystem a significant place in the minds and hearts of the citizens of Belmont, Arlington, Cambridge and surrounding communities. As President of the Friends of Alewife Reservation, Ellen has worked tirelessly for the past six years on behalf of a small, but significant urban wild of 130 acres. Owned by the Department of Conservation and Recreation, this urban swath of land receives constant attention and stewardship under Ellen's leadership. Ms. Mass has organized over 100 reservation clean-up days, enlisting helpers through local neighborhood groups, classes, and community service organizations. Ellen has worked with Lesley University to develop a successful public forum on improvement projects for the Alewife sub-watershed; held forums and educational events; organized canoe trips, sponsored multiple naturalist docent training sessions and reservation walks; and led a two-year Mural Project that resulted in a 90 foot mural featuring wildlife of the Alewife Reservation which is prominently displayed at the Alewife T stop. Ellen is currently orchestrating an impressive multi-agency effort to restore natural buffers on a 10-acre parcel of the Reservation. Ellen has made a significant contribution to the Alewife Reservation and has heightened our environmental awareness of this important urban jewel.
Senior Wildlife Biologist, New Hampshire Audubon Society
We can all offer our thanks to Christian Martin for increasing the populations of Bald Eagles, Osprey and Peregrine Falcons in New Hampshire over the past 15 years. Working well beyond his job requirements as a Senior Wildlife Biologist at the NH Audubon Society, Christian has built partnerships that leverage scarce financial resources to enlist and personally train volunteers to become educated advocates for conservation in local communities. For nearly a decade, Christian has coordinated NH's statewide surveys of Bald Eagles, Osprey and Peregrine Falcons during their nesting seasons. As recreational opportunities and development are negatively impacting the areas utilized by these birds and each of these species still face challenges in NH, , the data provided through Christian's work and the species profiles that he recently drafted for NH's Wildlife Action Plan, will guide the state's future protection efforts. The impact of Christian's work extends to cities and towns throughout NH and to future generations, by fostering conservation.
Water Quality Program Coordinator at the Univ. of Rhode Island
Alyson McCann is being recognized for addressing an important public health issue in New England: the testing of private drinking water wells. In Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, it is estimated that 40 percent of the population is served by private drinking water wells – amounting to more than 800,000 private wells serving 2.3 million people. The threats from untreated private well water in New England are significant and can include contaminants such as arsenic, bacteria, MTBE, uranium, radionuclides, among others.
Before Alyson's leadership crafting and implementing a New England-wide strategy for addressing private wells, efforts to assist the public and inform them of the risks from contamination and well testing for homeowners were severely limited. The goal of the Private Well Initiative is to encourage testing well water on an annual basis.
In 2006, Alyson was the key organizer for a regional consortium among public health and environmental agencies. Through initial funding from EPA, Alyson created and distributed a large inventory of state and contaminant-specific brochures to reach private well owners, public health officials, realtors and other groups. Alyson has advanced efforts of the initiative at the 2006 Private Well Consortium which was attended by over 100 private well professionals and included speakers from several universities and government agencies. Alyson continues to reach out on private well issues by offering information through community institutions such as libraries and local boards of health.
Environmental, Community, Academia & Non-Profit Organization Environmental Merit Awards
Green Mountain Conservation
Blair Folts, Executive Director
Founded in 1997, the Green Mountain Conservation Group (GMGC) is a community-based charitable organization dedicated to the protection and conservation of natural resources in the Ossipee watershed in New Hampshire – including the towns of Effingham, Freedom, Madison, Ossipee, Sandwich and Tamworth. Adopting a style of “non-confrontational” advocacy, GMGC is educating local officials and residents about the Ossipee watershed and the impact that a projected 50 percent growth will have on the area over the next 15 years. The Ossipee watershed is uniquely vulnerable to pollution and contamination because it is home to the largest drift aquifer in New Hampshire – allowing the aquifer to recharge very quickly and also carry pollutants more easily to underground water supplies. Working with the Saco River Corridor Commission, GMGC has established a volunteer-led water quality program and has collected three years of data upon which water quality trends and changes can be measured. GMGC has also protected 450 acres of critical habitat from development and is currently working to protect another 2000 acres of critical land around Trout Pond in Freedom, NH. The GMGC is an excellent example of a grassroots organization that is making a large impact on the protection of critical natural resource areas in New England.
New Hampshire Partnership
for High Performance Schools
An Initiative of the Jordon Institute
This young and highly effective group was formed to put in place a state-wide comprehensive approach for designing and constructing healthy, high performance, energy efficient, environmentally benign and economically sensible school facilities. The New Hampshire Partnership for High Performance Schools has successfully reached out to more than 70 communities – educating school administrators, facility managers, teachers and parents on ways to make their schools healthier. By forging partnerships with the NH Department of Education, the NH Office of Energy and Planning, NH utilities, the public health community, school design and engineering firms, and environmental organizations, the work of the Partnership has resulted in nearly a dozen districts planning or moving forward with designs for construction or renovation of schools to high performance standards. All of these projects will mean better, healthier indoor environments for students and staff. The Partnership is a successful and replicable example of an effective state-wide initiative to improve the lives of individuals and the environment in which they live, work and play.
Safe Routes to School
The Safe Routes to School Program is a creative community approach to encouraging non-car transportation. Sparked by a survey of parents who identified concerns for their children's safety as the primary reason for not allowing them to walk or bike to school, the Program successfully worked to overcome many obstacles in order to allow children to walk safely. The Program is a collaborative effort of Lexington's Bridge Elementary School parents, the PTA staff, the School Committee, the Board of Selectmen and the Department of Public Works, and encourages students at the school to use any form of transportation, other than automobiles, to get to school. Of the 320 potential walkers, as many as 200 walked, biked, or rode their scooters to school, vastly reducing the volume of single car transportation to and from school. The Program worked collaboratively with the Sidewalk Committee, which identified main walking routes, and Public Works employees who repainted heavily used crosswalks and strategically placed “Yield to Pedestrians” signs. Students who participated received ribbons to acknowledge their awareness of the benefits of reduced car traffic, and designated meeting points were established for families to safely gather and walk together. The Program resulted in reduced traffic and car pollution by more than 50% during the program's kickoff week and families were encouraged to continue the program throughout the year. The success of the Safe Routes to School Program has paved the way for Lexington's four other elementary
Local, State or Federal
Environmental Merit Awards
Connecticut Clean Diesel
Commissioner Gina McCarthy, Tracy Babbidge, Paul Farrell, Pat Kelly, Bill Menz, Susan Amarello and Ariel Garcia
The Connecticut Clean Diesel Plan Team is being commended for their extraordinary efforts in developing a comprehensive plan for reducing diesel emissions that went beyond those required in a special act of the state Legislature. The Team worked to tirelessly address the problems caused by diesel exhaust which cause people to breathe fine particles that aggravate heart and lung diseases and has been linked to cardiovascular symptoms, cardiac arrhythmias, heart attacks, respiratory symptoms, asthma attacks and bronchitis. By enlisting a broad-base of stakeholders including businesses, environmentalists, educational and government actors, and local community groups, the Team developed an inventory of diesel vehicles to identify the most cost-effective strategies to reduce diesel emissions through a combination of cleaner fuels, early vehicle replacement and vehicle retrofits. Through stakeholder meetings, the group also identified creative strategies for overcoming funding barriers by employing tax incentives, contract specifications, Department of Energy State Energy Program funds and other funding available for vehicle retrofits. One of the great benefits of the Plan is that it will reduce emissions in several communities in the state which suffer disproportionately from the impacts of air pollution thereby addressing environmental justice concerns. The plan will not only serve as a blueprint for the state of Connecticut, but will serve as a model for other states to develop diesel reduction strategies.
In order to address the problem of polluted stormwater runoff from damaging Maine's urban streams and water bodies, the ThinkBlueMaine Partnership was created to raise awareness and change human behaviors to help reduce the amount of contaminants that enter Maine's waterways. The Partnership includes 28 municipalities that are responsible for meeting stormwater regulations, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, the Maine State Planning Office, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. The Partnership has produced and funded mass media ads to promote clean water, used focus groups and social marketing to orchestrate an education campaign, and planned area-wide cleanup days at many river locations throughout the state. The communities worked to stencil storm drains to educate people that whatever goes down the drain ends up in a local body of water and created a thinkbluemaine.org website linking all of the communities, events and activities around clean water issues. Through the Partnership, many of Maine's regulated stormwater communities, agencies and organizations agreed to take steps to go beyond state and federal stormwater requirements by informing people on ways that they can change their behaviors to reduce stormwater pollution.
Business, Industry and Professional Organizations Environmental Merit Awards
Tom's of Maine
Founded by Tom and Kate Chappell in 1970, Tom's of Maine is based on the central belief that a company can be financially successful while behaving in a socially responsible and environmentally sensitive manner. In each of its 36 years since then, the company has grown both financially and with regard to social and environmental practices. In 2005, Tom's of Maine was able to make further advancements in lighting, electricity, and recycling. They replaced 400-watt metal fixtures with sensor-controlled fluorescent energy-saving fixtures to save 250,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year. They also converted 100% of their electricity consumption to wind energy to eliminate the production of 1.5 million points of carbon dioxide emissions annually. And finally, all of Tom's of Maine increased their recycling to 200,000 pounds per year and eliminated half of their weekly trash pick-ups by recycling aluminum tubes, folding cartons, mixed paper, and shrink wrap. This company continues to produce personal care products using natural ingredients derived from plants and minerals that are biodegradable and manufactured and packaged in earth friendly ways. They annually donate 10% of all profits to charitable organizations and encourage their employees to use 5% of their paid time to do volunteer work.
Beacon Capital Partners LLC
Throughout 2005, Beacon Capital Partners LLC implemented a comprehensive energy conservation and awareness program involving all of its building employees and tenants. The program established a monthly tracking report to monitor the energy consumption at all of the properties in Beacon's portfolio and implement energy efficiency measures at three landmark Boston buildings: John Hancock Tower, Berkeley and Brown Buildings, and the Newbry at 501 Boylston - formerly the New England Life Insurance Building. These ENERGY STAR labeled buildings accounted for more than half of the total square footage of labeled building space in New England in 2005. The Hancock Tower is the tallest building in New England at 790 feet and scored an impressive 77 out of 100 on the ENERGY STAR national performance rating system. EPA calculates that the building uses one-third less energy than similar buildings and avoids 30 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions; all while saving $3.5 million in annual energy bills. The three buildings together comprise nearly 5 million square feet, collectively save nearly $7 million each year, and prevent more than 65 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions each year. Because of their extraordinary successes, Beacon Capital Partners LLC plans to implement energy conservation measures throughout their portfolio and is encouraging tenants to reduce energy in their areas by implementing a comprehensive Preventive Maintenance Program at all properties and to monitor energy savings after the implementation of energy conservation measures.
New England Lead Free
Comprised of New England companies representing the entire printed wiring board (PWB) supply chain, the New England Lead Free Electronics Consortium utilizes the “cradle to cradle” approach to research, design, and test lead free circuit boards for use in the electronics industry. Their goal is to demonstrate the feasibility of achieving lead free electronics assembly with comparable reliability to current leaded technology. This project has been going on for five years and will lead to the removal of approximately 6,500 lbs. of lead per year from the Massachusetts electronics industry. Lead, a toxic chemical that has been linked to health and behavioral problems, is released into the environment through the disposal of lead-containing products to landfills and incinerators. It has been chosen by the National Waste Minimization Partnership Program and is a cornerstone of EPA's Resource Conservation Challenge. Because lead is commonly found in the soldering used in disposable electronic equipment, this project stands to significantly reduce environmental lead and make long lasting changes in the way New England companies manufacture their goods. This approach and its results have been shared with the electronics industry world wide through the outreach of various consortium members.
Stonyfield Farm, Inc.
Stonyfield Farm, a local yogurt producer, was, in 1994, the first manufacturer in America to offset 100% of its carbon dioxide emissions from its manufacturing facility's energy use. Nine years later, Stonyfield Farm continues to steward the environment by purchasing over 12,000 metric tons of renewable energy credit (REC)-based carbon dioxide offsets from new wind facilities and by purchasing solar energy generated RECs to fund the 2005 installation of a 50 kW solar array system on its facilities in Londonderry, NH – the largest in the state of New Hampshire. These REC purchases have helped directly finance a farm methane energy generator for a family-owned dairy farm in Pennsylvania and help support the construction and initial operations and maintenance expenses for three wind turbines in Alaska Native Villages and new wind farms in the Midwest. In the past, Stonyfield Farm has developed a ‘how-to' booklet on carbon offsets, was the first for-profit organization to register its greenhouse gas emissions with the State of New Hampshire's voluntary greenhouse gas registry, and purchased as many as 28,000 metric tons of carbon offsets. The company also annually donates 10% of its profits to support other environmental causes including many relating to global climate change. Each of these projects is a visible statement of the company's commitment to supporting renewable energy projects and helping to bring commercial viability to these technologies.