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News Releases from Region 04

Holcim, Inc. Receives Gulf Guardian Award for Eliminating Stormwater Discharges from Theodore, Ala.

Contact Information: 
James Pinkney (pinkney.james@epa.gov)
404-562-9183, 404-562-8400

ATLANTA - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Gulf of Mexico Program recognized Holcim Inc., which operates a cement plant in Theodore, Ala., with the First Place 2015 Gulf Guardian Award in the Business and Industry Category. The awards ceremony was held today at the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi, Texas.

In 1999, Holcim initiated a stormwater management program at its Theodore Plant that eliminated discharges into the Theodore Industrial Canal. A team of plant managers and process engineer began collecting stormwater and using it as cooling/conditioning water in the production process, saving 88 million gallons of captured stormwater from being discharged into the canal and reducing the facility's dependence on municipal water for process gas conditioning.

"This is the 13th year of the Gulf Guardian Awards, and I am proud to say that each year the winners in all categories have represented the very best of environmental accomplishments in the Gulf of Mexico," said Diane Altsman, chief of staff for the Gulf of Mexico Program. "The Gulf of Mexico Program partnership works to improve the environmental health of the Gulf, and the Gulf Guardian Awards is an important way for us to recognize these valuable efforts."

The project has a positive impact on the environment in a critical region and can be duplicated in other areas. At present, the only time water is discharged to the Theodore Industrial Canal is when hurricanes or tropical storms threaten the Alabama or Mississippi coastline or when maintenance dredges are being performed, which occurs once every 15 years. Holcim is committed to engaging stakeholders through the formation of a Community Advisory Committee and participating in the South Mobile Industrial Association. Through both of these stakeholder groups, Holcim employees have provided tours and presentations to aid in understanding the successes of this project.

The Gulf of Mexico Program initiated the Gulf Guardian awards in 2000 as a way to recognize and honor the individuals, businesses, community groups and agencies that are taking positive steps to keep the Gulf healthy, beautiful and productive. First, second and third place awards are given in seven categories: individual, business/industry, youth environmental education, civic/nonprofit organizations, cultural diversity/environmental justice, partnership and bi-national efforts.

The Gulf of Mexico Program began in 1988 to protect, restore and maintain the health and productivity of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem in economically sustainable ways. The Program is underwritten by the EPA and is a non-regulatory, inclusive consortium of state and federal government agencies and representatives of the business and agricultural community, fishing industry, scientists, environmentalists, and community leaders from all five Gulf states. The Program seeks to improve the environmental health of the Gulf in concert with economic development.

More information about the Gulf of Mexico Program: www.epa.gov/gmpo

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