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News Releases from Region 06

EPA Recognizes Sam Rayburn Memorial Veterans’ Center in Bonham, TX, in Federal Green Challenge

Facility’s efficiency efforts save resources and taxpayers’ money

Contact Information: 
Jennah Durant (
214 665-2200

DALLAS – (June 14, 2018) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognizes federal facilities for conserving resources and saving taxpayers’ money as part of the Federal Green Challenge (FGC). The Sam Rayburn Memorial Veterans’ Center in Bonham, Texas, won first place nationally in the Electronics and Transportation categories. The facility also won regional awards for Purchasing and Innovation, Education and Outreach.

Efforts across the federal government have not only resulted in approximately $22 million in cost savings in the last year, but also further the goals of the President’s May 17, 2018, Executive Order (EO) Regarding Efficient Federal Operations.

“Federal agencies nationwide challenge themselves to improve efficiency and minimize environmental impact, and their achievements are saving American taxpayers tens of millions of dollars,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.

More about the Rayburn Center’s achievements:

•           National 1st Place, Electronics: Increased purchases of EPEAT-registered electronics by 542%, from 87 to 559

•           National 1st Place, Transportation: Increased number of hybrid vehicles by 260%, from five to 18; increased number of alternative-fuel vehicles by 83.5%, from 91 to 167; and increased bike miles traveled by 1,233%, from 6 to 80

•           Regional 1st Place, Purchasing: Reduced paper purchased by 6.85%, from 60,600 lbs. to 56,450 lbs. while number of employees grew.

•           Regional 1st Place, Innovation, Education and Outreach, and Leadership Narrative: Developed ways to incorporate recycling into existing work practices; educating new employees on green practices during orientation; integrating healthcare with environmental improvements for residents and their families

In 2017, FGC participants reduced the federal government’s environmental impact by reducing fuel oil consumption by more than 206,000 gallons, sending nearly 300 tons of end-of-life electronics to third-party certified recyclers, using almost 59 million fewer gallons of industrial, landscaping and agricultural water, and diverting over 422,000 tons of waste from landfills. Participants also prevented more than 840 tons of food from being landfilled through food donation and composting efforts.

FGC participants are leading the way in advancing the goals of the President’s EO, which directs agencies to prioritize reducing waste, cutting costs, enhancing the resiliency of Federal infrastructure and operations, and that these reductions should be tracked to ensure accountability. 

EPA also awarded these participants for improving the efficiency of their facilities in FY17: 

FY17 Highest Percentage of Materials Managed

  • The General Services Administration’s Fort Worth Federal Center in Fort Worth, Texas, managed its materials for a 97 percent diversion rate in FY17.
  • The U.S. Department of Energy’s Bonneville Power Administration in Portland, Ore., managed over 92 percent of the materials in its waste stream in FY17 (2,410 tons recycled, 28.8 tons composted, 202.7 tons landfilled).

Improvement by Target Area – Highest Increased Percentage Over Previous Year

  • Waste: The Department of Transportation’s Volpe National Transportation Systems in Cambridge, Mass., increased collection of compost from 0.2 tons to 4.4 tons, from FY16 to FY17.  
  • Purchasing: The Drug Enforcement Administration’s El Paso Intelligence Center in El Paso, Texas, reduced paper purchased 53 percent from 4,500 lbs. down to 2,099 lbs.  
  • Energy: The Department of Energy’s East Tennessee Technology Park in Oak Ridge, Tenn., increased their renewable energy purchased or installed on site by 648 percent from 19,968 kWh to 149,361 kWh. 
  • Water: The Drug Enforcement Administration’s Southeast Laboratory in Miami, Fla., reduced potable water use to 69 percent from 950,710 gallons to 293,964 gallons.

The FGC is a voluntary, fiscal yearlong commitment under EPA's Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Program, in which participants focus on efficiently managing their resources to reduce the costs of building operations, maintenance, and supplies. 

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

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