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News Releases from Region 05

Minnesota Federal Agencies Win EPA Green Challenge Award

Contact Information: 
Francisco Arcaute (arcaute.francisco@epa.gov)
312-886-7613 312-898-2042 Cell

For Immediate Release   No. 16-OPA039

CHICAGO (Oct. 19, 2016) -- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has honored the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Healthcare System, Minnesota National Guard, and U.S. EPA Mid-Continent Ecology Division, Duluth, with the agency’s Federal Green Challenge award. EPA selected the Minnesota federal agencies in recognition of their innovative energy saving and other environmental practices.

The Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Healthcare System diverted more than 367 tons of construction and demolition waste out of 450 tons generated in 2015. This is compared to 66 tons out of 150 tons generated the year before. These results reflected an 80 percent increase of recycling construction and demolition waste. The Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Healthcare System also continued to add electric vehicles to its fleet, adding two this year.

The Minnesota National Guard reduced natural gas use from 121,628,235 cubic feet in 2014 to 96,582,662 cubic feet in 2015, resulting in a 20 percent reduction. Additionally, they reduced their energy use intensity, or energy used per square foot, by an average of 4 percent.

EPA’s Mid-Continent Ecology Division reduced the amount of paper purchased from 2,450 pounds in 2014 to 2,200 pounds in 2015 for a 10 percent reduction and increased the number of green meetings by 900 percent. Additionally, the Duluth-based office improved pollinator habitat for butterflies and bees by removing non-native species and adding native flowers and grasses. This landscaping change saves energy as three and a half acres are no longer mowed.

EPA’s Federal Green Challenge encourages federal agencies throughout the nation to lead by example by conserving energy and resources, cutting waste, reducing pollution and saving money.

More information on the Federal Green Challenge: https://www.epa.gov/fgc