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Release Date: 03/20/2003
Contact Information: Wesley Lambert, Media Relations, U.S. EPA, Region 4 Phone: 404/562-8316
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that the Forsyth County Environmental Affairs Department (Winston-Salem, North Carolina) is the recipient of the 2002 Clean Air Excellence Award. The award was given to recognize and honor outstanding and innovative efforts that help to make progress in achieving cleaner air. Forsyth County Environmental Affairs Department is 1 of 21 national award winners.

"From Kentucky to Colorado, and across the nation, these award winners are using innovative approaches to help make our nation's air cleaner," said EPA Administrator Christie Whitman."I am proud to honor these pioneering individuals and organizations for using creative ideas, showing once again, that government and industry working together can achieve a healthy environment without sacrificing economic growth. The winners of the Clean Air Excellence Awards are real-life examples of how one person-- or one organization - - can take steps to reduce pollution can make our air cleaner."

The Forsyth County Environmental Affairs Department was specifically recognized for developing a forecasting program, which provides the public with real-time information concerning particulate matter (PM2.5) levels and their effect on public health. Year-round, forecasts are provided on a daily basis through the Department's web site, an email list service, a toll-free number and by newspaper and television broadcasts. The program provides a valuable product to increase the public's awareness of air quality issues and the seriousness of health problems created by fine particles.