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EPA New England Celebrates Earth Day by Opening Nomination Period for Annual Environmental Merit Awards

Contact Information: 
Emily Bender (

BOSTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) office in New England is accepting nominations for New England people, organizations, government entities or businesses whose environmental achievements during the past year deserve recognition. Nominations for the 2019 Environmental Merit Awards are due by Friday, May 10, 2019.

These regional awards have been given out annually since EPA was created in 1970. Past recipients have included scientists, community activists, business representatives and public officials committed to preserving the environment. An independent EPA panel will select the winners based on the environmental problem being addressed, what actions were taken to address this environmental issue and the degree to which the positive results can be measured and sustained.

Because EPA's mission is to protect human health and the environment, nominations should explain how work connects to EPA's mission of reducing either waste or air, water or land pollution. The agency also looks for projects or activities that can be replicated or widely shared and that are innovative.

Awards, which will be presented at a ceremony in September, are traditionally given in five categories:

  • individual;
  • business, industry, trade, and professional organization;
  • local, state or federal government;
  • environmental, community or non-profit organization, academia; and
  • lifetime achievement.

Lifetime Awards are given to people who have demonstrated sustained commitment toward improving New England's environment during a career or over a lifetime.

Those making nominations are asked to specify which EPA priority their person or group addresses:

  • improving air quality;
  • providing clean and safe water;
  • preventing or cleaning contamination;
  • ensuring the safety of chemicals; or
  • encouraging recycling and reduction of solid waste.

For the third year in a row, EPA will also be awarding the Children's Environmental Health Award for an individual or group whose work stands out for its efforts to protect children from environmental health risks.

A final award category is the Ira Leighton "In Service to States" Environmental Merit Award. This award recognizes an individual or organization for success in furthering state and federal partnerships to address environmental challenges in New England. A collaboration, including the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission, the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management, the Northeast Waste Management Officials' Association and New England State Environmental Commissioners, chooses the winner of this award.

Nominations are only accepted online.

More information on award categories, evaluation criteria and how to submit nominations:

Contact Kristen Conroy at with comments or questions.