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EPA Commends Local Community Leader

Release Date: 06/04/2008
Contact Information: Contact: Beth Totman (212) 637-3662,

(New York, N.Y.) -- Carol Johnston, a member of the Ironbound Community in Newark, New Jersey, was presented with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Citizen Excellence in Community Involvement Award. Ms. Johnston accepted the award at EPA’s 2008 National Notable Achievement Awards Ceremony in Arlington, Virginia.

“Carol Johnston is the ideal recipient of this award because not only does she realize how important it is to push for a cleaner environment, she realizes how important building a strong relationship with community members and the EPA is,” said Alan J. Steinberg, Regional Administrator. “It has been a pleasure to work with her to better the environment, and to witness how she has empowered her community in the process.”

The Citizen Excellence in Community Involvement Award recognizes an individual or a community group that has made a contribution to a Superfund cleanup through leadership, constructive participation, exceptional dedication and creativity. Over the last ten years, Ms. Johnston has served the Ironbound Community through her work involving Superfund sites in the area. She has worked closely with EPA officials and community residents to ensure the community’s concerns are heard.

Ms. Johnston has encouraged a wide variety of stakeholders’ participation through the development of an Ironbound Master Plan, the Ironbound Recreation and Open Space Plan and the Gateway Park Plan. Among her many contributions, Ms. Johnston organized a bus tour for key decision makers to view impacted areas within downtown Newark in order to show the impact of pollution on low-income and minority families in the area. She also arranged and conducted a personal tour of affected areas in Newark for EPA’s Regional Administrator, Alan J. Steinberg, recommended a collaborative community involvement process at the Diamond Alkali Superfund site and acquired the services of a volunteer technical advisor to help the community better understand technical and scientific issues related to the site. Ms. Johnston’s compassion and drive as an advocate for the disadvantaged speaks to how valued she is not only in her community, but across the state.

For more information about the award, go to: For more information about the Diamond Alkali Superfund site, visit: