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News Releases from Region 06

EPA Recognizes Austin Federal Building for Significant Energy Reductions and Cost Savings

Contact Information: 
Jennah Durant (R6Press@epa.gov)
Joe Hubbard

DALLAS - (April 28, 2015) Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized the JJ Pickle & Homer Thornberry Federal Building for reducing its environmental impacts. As part of the Federal Green Challenge (FGC), more than 400 federal facilities, representing nearly 1.3 million federal employees, took steps to reduce pollution, support renewable energy, and operate more efficiently in 2014, resulting in an estimated cost savings of more than $24 million to U.S. taxpayers.

"The agencies who participate in our Federal Green Challenge are leading change in the federal government," says Mathy Stanislaus, Assistant Administrator of the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. "The Federal Government is the largest consumer of energy in the nation, with a footprint that includes 360,000 buildings, 650,000 fleet vehicles, and $445 billion spent annually on good of services. The awards recognize the commitment from these federal agencies to being good neighbors and environmental leaders in their communities."

The JJ Pickle & Homer Thornberry building was recognized for innovation in reducing energy and water use. The building used retrofits on several systems, including the lighting, HVAC, and building automation systems, which resulted in significant energy savings. Changes to water fixtures and irrigation systems saved a total of nearly $3,900 per year in water bills. They also vastly increased their municipal solid waste recycling, from 27.6 tons in 2013 to 79.19 tons in 2014.

A national effort under EPA's Sustainable Materials Management Program, the FGC allows federal offices or facilities to pledge participation in reducing the federal government's environmental impact and recognizes outstanding efforts that go beyond regulatory compliance. Agencies strive for annual improvements in selected target areas (Waste, Electronics, Purchasing, Water, Energy and/or Transportation) and report their improvements to EPA, demonstrating the financial and environmental benefits of their actions. Within the target areas, challenge participants in FY14:

diverted over 390,000 tons of Municipal Solid Waste and Construction & Demolition waste from landfills;
saved nearly 80 million gallons of water,
saved 107 million cubic feet of natural gas;
reduced fleet distance traveled by 12.3 million miles;
sent 450 tons of end of life electronics to third party certified recyclers; and
avoided purchasing 15,000 pounds of office paper.

For the third year in a row, EPA is recognizing facilities for annual improvements.

The 2015 National Awardees are:

Improvement by Target Area - highest increased percentage over previous year
o Waste: Southern Arizona VA Health Care System, Department of Veterans Affairs, Tucson, AZ
o Electronics: Western Laboratory, Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Justice (DOJ), San Francisco, CA
o Purchasing: U.S. Courthouse, General Services Administration (GSA), Los Angeles, CA
o Energy: Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, U.S. Marine Corps, Department of Defense (DOD), San Diego, CA
o Water: Oregon Caves National Monument, National Park Service, Department of the Interior (DOI)
o Transportation:
National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Department of Energy (DOE), Golden, CO
Minneapolis VA Healthcare System, Department of Veterans Affairs, Minneapolis, MN
Capulin Volcano National Monument, National Park Service, Department of the Interior (DOI), Capulin, NM

For more information on the Federal Green Challenge: http://www.epa.gov/fgc/

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