EPA Welcomes Concessionaire at Statue of Liberty and Six Postal Facilities in New York to Program for Environmental Leaders
(New York, N.Y.) The concessionaire at the Statue of Liberty and U.S. Postal facilities in Binghamton, Buffalo, Elmira, Rochester, Syracuse and Utica have volunteered to minimize pollution beyond environmental regulatory requirements while reducing water and energy use. They are among the newest additions to a growing list of facilities that have been accepted into the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Environmental Performance Track Program. Members commit to develop a set of processes that will reduce environmental impacts, called an environmental management system and set three-year goals to continuously improve environmental performance, while working closely with their communities and reporting publicly on their performance. There are now 31 facilities in New York that have been accepted into EPA’s Performance Track program. Nationally, there are nearly 500 members in 49 states.
“Performance track members are forging a new pathway for environmental protection — one that complements regulatory approaches with new tools and strategies that recognize and drive environmental excellence that in turn set an example for others,” said EPA Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg.
Evelyn Hill, Inc., which runs the Liberty Island museum gift shop and food services, is recycling, reducing energy consumption, composting food wastes and other initiatives on its way to attaining a zero carbon footprint. The company has been hailed as the ‘greenest’ concession operation in the National Park system.
Five of the new U.S. Post Office members are vehicle maintenance facilities and one is a processing and distribution center. All have committed to reducing and recycling waste that was previously land filled and using heat and lighting systems that require less energy. The vehicle maintenance facilities are increasing the number of tires purchased with the highest possible percentage of recycled materials and two of the postal facilities are volunteering to help enhance the protection of wetlands on or near their plant properties.
In order to be accepted into Performance Track, facilities must have a history of sustained compliance with federal and state environmental requirements. They must also adopt and implement environmental management systems to meet environmental requirements and improve overall performance, demonstrate at least two past environmental achievements and commit to four future improvements. In addition, members are required to have public outreach programs to report their progress to the public. EPA is currently accepting new applications for the program.
Members in the Performance Track program receive a range of incentives such as public recognition and low priority for routine EPA inspections. Facilities are also eligible for several kinds of administrative flexibility and streamlined administrative requirements that reduce costs and enable members to achieve better environmental results. In addition, members benefit from special services, including a learning network composed of top environmental performers that has a mentoring program, tele-seminars, EPA roundtable discussions and newsletters, program information, summary of member benefits, application guidelines, and a complete listing of facilities that are Performance Track members can be found at: http://www.epa.gov/performancetrack/. For more information about the Waste Minimization Partnership, visit: http://www.epa.gov/wastemin/.
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