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EPA Recognizes Local Allegheny County Group for Volunteer Service

Release Date: 10/16/2008
Contact Information: Donna Heron, 215-814-5113,

PITTSBURGH (October 16, 2008) -- EPA Regional Administrator Donald S. Welsh today honored the Southwestern Pennsylvania Household Hazardous Waste Task Force with the President’s Volunteer Service Award in recognition of the group’s work to organize hazardous waste events in western Pennsylvania.

James Degnan and Fred Fields, volunteer co-chairs of the Pennsylvania Household Hazardous Waste Task Force, accepted the award on behalf of the organization, whose work has been instrumental in reducing pollution in the western part of the state. Degnan is director of environmental services for Hampton Township in Allegheny County. Fields is manager of industrial waste for ALCOSAN (Allegheny County Sanitary Authority.)

“It’s an honor to recognize the members of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Household Hazardous Waste Task Force for answering President Bush’s call to serve a cause greater than themselves,” said EPA’s Welsh. “Dedicated volunteers like these are inspiring others to join them in delivering America a brighter, healthier future.”

The all-volunteer task force was formed in 2002 to organize household hazardous waste collection events and to date has held 27 of these events in seven western Pennsylvania counties: Allegheny, Cambria, Lawrence, Butler, Beaver, Westmoreland, and Venango Counties. The task force has provided more than 14,000 residents a safe, responsible, and economically easy way to dispose of nearly 1.5 million pounds of hazardous materials that may have otherwise ended up polluting the environment.

To check on upcoming collection events, go to

In his January 2002 State of the Union Address, President Bush called on all Americans to make a difference in their communities through volunteer service. He created USA Freedom Corps, an Office of the White House, to strengthen and expand volunteer service. Go to or call 1-877-USA-CORPS to find an existing volunteer service opportunity in your area or to find more information about service programs, including national service programs such as the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and Citizen Corps. USA Freedom Corps is also highlighting youth volunteer service. Visit for games and ideas to see how America's youth are making a difference.

The President's Volunteer Service Award was created at the President’s direction by the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation. The award is available to youth ages 14 and under who have completed 50 or more hours of volunteer service; to individuals 15 and older who have completed 100 or more hours; and to families or groups who have completed 200 or more hours. For more information about the award, please visit