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EPA Recognizes Argonne Lab for Saving Resources and Taxpayer Money

Contact Information: 
Francisco Arcaute (
312-886-7613 312-898-2042 Cell

For Immediate Release  No. 17-OPA 066

CHICAGO (July 12, 2017) –Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognized the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, Ill., for improving efficiency, saving resources and reducing costs as part of the Federal Green Challenge (FGC).

“Federal agencies across the country are doing their part to minimize their environmental impact, in doing so saving American taxpayers millions of dollars,” EPA Administrator Pruitt said. “Their efforts resulted in an estimated cost savings of $17 million across the federal government.”

Argonne Lab increased its solid waste recycling rate by over 800 percent, significantly reduced commuting miles through telework, and saved more than 3 million gallons of potable water by reusing wastewater to clean out tanks and lines at its treatment plant.

“Our employee’s everyday actions and collaborative projects are the key to Argonne’s sustainability achievements. In 2016, our staff recycled over 600 tons of waste and avoided using 12,000 gallons of gasoline with green commuting. Argonne is a sustainability leader by reducing our local impact and conducting world-class research around key issues of sustainable energy, environmental health and national security,” said Catherine Hurley, sustainability program manager at Argonne National Laboratory.

Now in its fifth year, the FGC is a yearlong commitment under EPA's Sustainable Materials Management program in which participants focus on efficiently managing their resources to reduce the costs of building operations, maintenance and supplies. Specifically, participants track their data in two of six categories for a year.

Through their involvement, FGC participants reduced the federal government’s environmental impact by reducing fuel oil consumption by more than 500,000 gallons, sending 310 tons of end-of-life electronics to third-party certified recyclers, saving 9.2 million gallons of industrial water, and diverting over 336,000 tons of waste from landfills.

EPA recognized three other FGC winners in the Midwest:  

  • Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Detroit Field Office, Detroit, Mich.

  • Environmental Protection Agency, National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory, Ann Arbor, Mich.

  • Department of Veterans Affairs, Minneapolis Health Care System, Minneapolis, Minn

For more information on the Federal Green Challenge and this year’s winners, please visit