EPA Commends Environmental Achievers in New Jersey
(New York, N.Y.) In celebration of Earth Day, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today honored ten individuals and organizations for their outstanding efforts to protect the environment in New Jersey. Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg presented EPA’s Environmental Quality Awards at a ceremony in EPA’s offices in Manhattan. Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, New Jersey delivered the keynote address.
"EPA applauds the tireless dedication of the award winners, who are truly environmental champions,” said Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg. Their extraordinary contributions make our world a better place and remind us that individuals really can make a difference.”
2007 ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY AWARD WINNERS
Lake Hopatcong Commission
Landing, New Jersey
In 2001, the Lake Hopatcong Commission was created to protect and preserve its namesake, New Jersey’s largest inland lake and its surrounding watershed. Bill Clark was the first person employed by the commission and his name became synonymous with the group’s accomplishments. He was a leading advocate and supporter of the “Save the Lake 2000” campaign that spearheaded the legislation to create the commission. During the last five-foot drawdown of the lake, he and his team of field staff and volunteers removed 3,000 tires and almost five tons of metal debris from the lake. Mr. Clark is honored with the Environmental Quality Award posthumously.
Montclair, New Jersey
As the environmental justice and North Jersey organizer for the New Jersey Environmental Federation, Kim Gaddy has helped implement a number of programs to reduce toxic emissions in North Jersey including the “Kids Clean Air Zone.” This program promotes the introduction of diesel reduction strategies near high-traffic children’s areas such as schoolyards and daycare centers. She has also worked with the town of Irvington to eliminate pesticide use in town parks and playgrounds and utilize “green” cleaning products in public facilities.
Boonton, New Jersey
Natalie Pisarcik, a resident of Boonton, New Jersey, is an advocate for a cleaner Rockaway River. She is treasurer and past secretary of the Rockaway River Watershed Cabinet and past president and co-founder of the Rockaway River Coalition. Natalie became involved with the local chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club and, along with other club members, has conducted numerous canoe cleanups along the Rockaway River. To date, she and her fellow environmentalists have successfully pulled out nearly 100 used tires from its waters, along with 130 bags of trash.
South Branch Watershed Association
Flemington, New Jersey
The South Branch Watershed Association was founded in 1959 to protect the water sources of the South Branch of the Raritan River in New Jersey. The South Branch Raritan River watershed is the largest drainage area within New Jersey, and contains two of the largest reservoirs in the state. The organization’s programs include well testing, environmental education, river monitoring and stream cleanup. The stream cleanup, as an example, has been held each spring around Earth Day since 1991. Another program, the Hunterdon County Green Table was started in 2001 as a forum for land preservation and conservation issues.
Business & Industry
Atlantic County Utilities Authority
Pleasantville, New Jersey
The Atlantic County Utilities Authority, headed by Richard Dovey, has implemented an innovative program for managing energy expenses, protecting the environment and fostering energy independence through the use of alternative energy. The ACUA manages an 8-megawatt wind farm, the first coastal wind farm in New Jersey; a 500-kilowatt solar energy generation system; and a 3.5-megawatt methane gas-to-electricity facility. ACUA is also a user of biodiesel fuel, hybrid vehicles and geo-thermal heating and cooling systems. This past year, ACUA was the recipient of the prestigious 2006 Energy Project of the Year Award from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities.
New Jersey Resources
Wall, New Jersey
Since its launch a year ago, the New Jersey Resources “Conserve to Preserve” program has been its primary focus of business. The program promotes the benefits of energy conservation and environmental stewardship to all of its employees and stakeholders. Under a three-year pilot program, New Jersey Resources launched a campaign to inform stakeholders about energy saving tips, providing environmental education and information, and rebates and opportunities for federal tax credits.
Glassboro, New Jersey
Eighty-seven colleges across the country competed in last year’s RecycleMania competition, a national 10-week award program to see which colleges can generate the least amount of municipal solid waste or achieve the highest recycling rate. Rowan University received a third place award for waste minimization. Under the guidance of its recycling coordinator, Kimberly Jones, Rowan fostered a reduction in solid waste amounting to more than 36 pounds per person. Rowan is the only college in Region 2 to place in the top five during the competition.
The New Jersey Higher Education Partnership for Sustainability
Newark, New Jersey
New Jersey Higher Education Partnership for Sustainability is a group of more than 40 colleges and universities working with stakeholders to share best practices and promote sustainability in campus operations, curricula and local communities throughout the state. One of its unique programs was to get each of its member institutions to commit to voluntarily reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 3.5% from 1990 levels by the end of 2005. Another program is its “Teaching Sustainability” Web Quest seminars for use in higher education curricula.
Federal, State, Local or Tribal Government or Agency
City of Clifton
Clifton, New Jersey
The city of Clifton joined EPA’s WasteWise program in 1999. WasteWise helps its members develop initiatives that create less solid waste and increase recycling. The city’s program, led by Al DuBois, has worked with the Chamber of Commerce as part of the city’s Clean Communities program. Two hundred and fifty WasteWise certificates were awarded to local businesses as Clean Communities Environmental Awards. Residents are also given free reusable mugs to cut down on disposable cups and “smart shopping tours” teach students about environmental purchasing.
New Jersey Meadowlands Commission
Lyndhurst, New Jersey
Under Executive Director Robert Ceberio’s leadership, the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission is fulfilling a commitment to restore wildlife habitat and clean water in the Hackensack River. The commission is aggressively pursuing its goals to promote ecotourism in the region, establishing partnerships with local conservation groups and educators, building a science center and observatory, adopting solar power and conducting species monitoring programs. The commission’s education program reaches as many as 15,000 schoolchildren, and 25,000 people visit the Meadowlands Environment Center each year.
EPA selects Environmental Quality Award winners from non-profit, environmental and community groups, individual citizens, educators, business organizations and members of the news media, as well as from federal, state, local or tribal governments and agencies. The honor is given to those individuals or organizations that have made significant contributions to improving the environment in EPA Region 2, which covers New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and seven federally-recognized Indian Nations. The Agency receives nominations for the awards from both inside and outside EPA. For information about the Environmental Quality Awards in EPA Region 2, go to http://www.epa.gov/region02/eqa/.
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