Maine Citizens Receive Earth Day Honors with Prestigious Regional EPA Environmental Award
A Kennebunkport public health nurse, plus a prominent business and a private non-profit organization from Maine will be honored on Wednesday, April 18 in Boston’s Faneuil Hall as EPA presents its annual Environmental Merit Awards for 2007.
The merit awards, recognizing significant contributions to environmental awareness and problem solving, are a unique way that EPA can recognize individuals and groups that are making significant impacts on environmental quality in distinct ways.
Given out by EPA since 1970, the merit awards honor individuals and groups who have shown particular ingenuity and commitment in their efforts to preserve the region’s environment. This year’s competition drew 54 nominations from across New England.
“Our Environmental Merit Awards are among the highest honors EPA can bestow to recognize environmental accomplishments,” said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator for EPA’s New England Office. “I offer my gratitude to these citizens for their extraordinary contributions in protecting our shared environment. Their work reflects the best attributes of New Englanders, working to find solutions to tough environmental issues.”
The winners from Maine were among 29 from across New England. Awards were given 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 may present lifetime achievement awards for individuals.
The Environmental Merit Award Winners from Maine are:
Individual Environmental Merit Award:
Public Health Nurse, Town of Kennebunkport, ME Public Health Department
Judy Burnett has demonstrated enormous personal commitment to environmental protection by effectively advocating and completing a study on potential bacterial contamination sources affecting Kennebunkport’s Goose Rocks Beach, a destination for thousands of coastal visitors in New England’s summer months. Judy coordinated a water quality program and public awareness campaign for the beach and personally posted bacterial monitoring results at several beach access locations. Additionally, Judy’s presentation of the results at a public meeting was so effective that she won public approval for $30,000 to be utilized to evaluate the water quality monitoring program. Working with several state, local, and private partners, Judy’s initiative provided essential baseline data of bacterial contamination sources at the beach and laid the groundwork for future remedial efforts to reduce existing and future contamination sources.
Business, Industry, Trade or Professional Organization:
Hannaford Brothers Inc.
Hannaford Trucking Company provides retail delivery service to 158 Hannaford Brothers grocery stores in New England. They enrolled their delivery fleet of 101 tractors and 370 trailers in the EPA’s SmartWay program in 2005, resulting in reduced emissions of carbon dioxide by 8.657 tons, particulate matter by 1.6 tons, and nitrogen oxides by 59.5 tons, and saved over 115,000 gallons of diesel fuel. In 2006, Hannaford continued to use equipment upgrades, idle reduction strategies and driver education to reduce diesel fuel consumption and decrease air pollution. Additionally, Hannaford Brothers has been awarded the ENERGY STAR labels by EPA for demonstrating superior energy performance at six of its Vermont grocery stores. EPA estimates that these stores averted more then nineteen million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions annually, the equivalent of taking 1,800 cars off the road. They are also one of the few companies in New England to earn the EPA’s prestigious ENERGY STAR Leaders designation for 2006 for the overall performance of their 158 stores throughout New England. Hannaford Brothers has clearly demonstrated their commitment to working with partners, a company wide willingness to implement new policies and procedures, and an ability to translate that commitment into tangible results with positive environmental impacts.
Environmental, Community, Academia, and Non-Profit Organizations:
The Mount Agamenticus to the Sea Conservation Initiative (Mt. A to Sea)
The Mt A to Sea is a collaboration of ten nonprofit and governmental organization that are working together to protect a full range of ecological and community values in a six town region of southern Maine. The Mt A to Sea represents the largest unfragmented coastal forest between Acadia National Park and the New Jersey Pine Barriers. Southern hardwood forests overlap with the northern softwood forests in the Mt A to Sea Region to create a rare and biologically diverse ecosystem with the largest number of endangered species in the state. The region also includes the headwaters of the York River which provides safe habitat for over one hundred coastal and migratory avian species and one half of all fish species found in the Gulf of Maine. The initiative has achieved remarkable results. They have raised several million dollars for conservation projects and completed thirty-three individual projects conserving 1600 acres of land.
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