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Connecticut Citizen and Local Business Recognized by EPA for Environmental Achievements

09/12/2018
Contact Information: 
David Deegan (deegan.dave@epa.gov)
(617) 918-1017

BOSTON – One organization and one individual in Connecticut were recognized today at the 2018 Environmental Merit Awards ceremony of the US Environmental Protection Agency's New England regional office. These environmental leaders were among 28 recipients across New England honored for their work to protect New England's environment.

Anne Gobin of Broad Brook was recognized with a lifetime award for her many years of service to the health and environment of her state. And Diageo North America, a beverage company in Norwalk, Conn., was recognized in the business category.

"New England is fortunate to have so many individuals, businesses, and organizations that exhibit their strong commitment to local communities and to a clean and healthful environment. EPA is very proud to recognize these meaningful accomplishments," said EPA New England Regional Administrator Alexandra Dunn.

EPA New England each year recognizes individuals and groups in the six New England states whose are distinguished by their work to protect or improve the region's environment. The merit awards, given since 1970, honor individuals and groups who have shown ingenuity and commitment. The Environmental Merit Awards, given for work or actions done in the prior year, are awarded in the categories of individual; business (including professional organizations); local, state or federal government; and environmental, community, academia or nonprofit organization. Also, each year EPA presents lifetime achievement awards for individuals.

The 2018 Merit Award Winners from Connecticut were:

Lifetime Achievement Award

Anne R. Gobin
Anne Gobin retired in February 2018 from the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Anne had joined the predecessor to DEEP, the Department of Environmental Protection, in 1988 as an environmental analyst in the Waste Management Program, and before that spent five years at the state Department of Health Services and the Vermont Department of Health working on safe drinking water. She joined the state's Air Quality program in 1993 as assistant director overseeing the Air Bureau's Planning and Standards Division and later served as director of the Air Compliance and Field Operations Division for three years. She is best known for her accomplishments as chief of the Bureau of Air Management where, from 2003 to early 2018, she directed the implementation of numerous air quality programs while overseeing a staff of nearly 200.

Many of Connecticut's air quality programs benefitted from Anne's insights, which focused primarily on addressing Connecticut's ozone problem. Anne worked to reduce 'homegrown' air pollution. Thanks to her efforts, emissions of ozone precursors in Connecticut have declined by 53 percent since 1990. Anne also recognized that Connecticut needed to address interstate air pollution transport to meet health-based air quality standards. She worked to reduce air pollution on high electric demand days and petitioned EPA many times to push upwind states and upwind sources to do the right thing. During the last few years of her career, Anne focused on electric transportation. For example, she spearheaded adoption of Connecticut's landmark zero emission vehicle rebate program, developed with Connecticut's automotive retailer's association.

Anne also held leadership positions in regional and national organizations, including the National Association of Clean Air Agencies, Ozone Transport Commission and Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management. The people of Connecticut are lucky to have had Anne working for them, making the air easier to breathe.

Business

Diageo North America, Norwalk
Diageo North America is committed to reducing the company's environmental impact, particularly its impact on air quality. Diageo's North American Supply organization has been working to improve air quality by significantly reducing carbon emissions related to its logistics. In 2015, Diageo joined EPA's SmartWay program to reduce emissions by shipping products with SmartWay-certified carriers. When Diageo chooses carriers each year, a key factor is whether the carrier is SmartWay-certified. If a carrier is not registered with EPA, Diageo recommends certification and supports them through the process. After partnering with SmartWay, Diageo increased its ton-miles shipped via SmartWay-certified carriers from 73 to 83 percent by 2016. By February 2018 it had achieved 95 percent of ton-miles shipped with certified carriers. As of April 2018, Diageo has decreased its carbon emissions 62 percent since 2015. Efforts focused on supply site operations in 2017 reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 74 percent from 2007 - exceeding initial targets. Diageo North America embraces innovative ideas and approaches by, for example, converting its old diesel tractors into electric vehicles that release zero carbon emissions. Two electric yard jockeys eliminate 60 U.S. tons of carbon dioxide annually. The company's goal is to expand this project to other areas as it looks to continue reducing its environmental footprint.

In addition to the winners from Connecticut, Nancy Siedman of Cambridge, Mass., was given the Ira Leighton "In Service to States" annual award for environmental achievement that has had an outsized impact in the state, the region, and nationally.

More information on EPA's Environmental Merit Awards, including photographs from the award ceremony: https://www.epa.gov/environmental-merit-awards-new-england