EPA Region 7 Leading Environmentalism and Forwarding Sustainability (L.E.A.F.S.) Awards
EPA Region 7 established the L.E.A.F.S. award to recognize those who have supported the Superfund Redevelopment Initiative through innovative thinking, sustainable practices and environmental stewardship. Region 7 is a highly rural region with lots of available greenspace. Many opportunities exist to revitalize these sites through creative thinking and environmental awareness. Sites that are successfully reused can benefit communities, developers, site owners, and local governments. These sites can also be redeveloped in a way that enhances the remedial actions taken and supports stewardship of the land. This award was established to recognize any and all of these outstanding efforts.
The L.E.A.F.S. award can be given to a responsible party, developer, site owner, nonprofit, local government or community member who has demonstrated excellence in working cooperatively with Region 7 to ensure the redevelopment of a Superfund site is complimentary with the remedial actions taken. The redevelopment should either enhance the remedial actions and/or utilize creative thinking in implementing sustainable practices to benefit the community.
Evaluation Criteria for L.E.A.F.S. Award
- Enhancement of the selected remedy
- Reduction of EPA's long-term stewardship responsibilities
- Consideration of and effect on the local community
- Implementation of sustainable practices
- Consideration of long-term implementation of the selected remedy
- Innovation in creative thinking
- Demonstration of outstanding environmental stewardship
Site Award Winners
On October 23, 2012, Region 7 issued its first award to stakeholders for their efforts to reuse the Chemical Commodities, Inc. Superfund site, located in the city of Olathe, Kansas. Once a chemical brokerage facility, the site provides a beautified landscape for the surrounding neighborhood and offers the local community an educational opportunity to learn the importance of pollination.
On September 10, 2014, EPA Region 7 Administrator Karl Brooks presented the L.E.A.F.S. award to Walmart and to the Argentine Neighborhood Development Association for the reuse of the Kansas City Structural Steel Site. This former industrial site is now a Walmart Neighborhood Market, bringing new jobs and opportunity to the community. Awards will continue to be granted to sites meeting part or all of the above eligibility and evaluation criteria.