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EPA Recognizes Six Louisiana Organizations for Environmental Excellence

Release Date: 12/14/1999
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.

     The Region 6 office of the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) presented its annual Environmental Excellence Awards Dec 13 to: The Louisiana Nature Center; the city of Shreveport; Jefferson Parish Environmental and Development Control Department; Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service and related partners; DuPont Dow Elastomers, Pontchartrain Site; and General Motors Corp., GM Truck Group, Shreveport Assembly Plant.

     Environmental Excellence Awards recognize and encourage outstanding environmental protection efforts by individuals, non-profit organizations, companies and governments.

     "We are glad to see the outstanding results from these worthy programs.  Louisiana should be proud of the lasting impact its industry, governments and volunteers have generated to benefit the environment.  The EPA is glad to have them as its partners in protecting human health and the environment,"  EPA Regional Administrator Gregg Cooke said.

     Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) Secretary Dale Givens said, "Partnerships are indeed the theme of the Environmental Excellence Awards presented to these six Louisiana organizations.  In each of the recognized achievements, individuals, corporations and governments have worked together with the common aim of enhancing environmental quality.  Many of these accomplishments occurred because of the commendable individual initiative and a spirit of volunteerism.  LDEQ is pleased to join the EPA in this annual highlighting of program excellence."

     The Louisiana Nature Center created the annual Louisiana Youth Environmental Summit, a four-day workshop for highschool students, and produced "Treemendous Trees," a booklet distributed through the Southeast Louisiana Girl Scout Council.

     The Center also conducted one-day wetlands workshops for more than 700 students in partnership with the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service at Bayou Savauge National Wildlife Refuge.

     The city of Shreveport created an outstanding Brownfields redevelopment program.  Brownfields are urban properties that are idled or abandoned because of real or perceived environmental contamination.

     The Jefferson Parrish Restoration Project created, protected and enhanced valuable wetlands in the Barataria Basin, the fastest eroding area in Louisiana.  For a decade the project diverted more than 50,000 discarded Christmas trees from landfills into a marsh restoration project.

     The Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service and related partners' 4-H Environmental Education Camps provide hands-on experiences and intensive instruction in coastal ecology, wetlands loss, and key environmental and social issues affecting the health and economic well being of coastal residents.

     Employees at DuPont Dow Elastomers Pontchartrain site changed production processes to eliminate the need to dispose of about 2.1 million pounds per year of hazardous solvents.

     GM's Cardboard Recycling Project at its Shreveport assembly plant reduced the amount of landfill-bound trash per vehicle produced at the plant from 55 pounds to less than 33 pounds.  Cardboard recycling increased from 247 tons in 1997 to 1,800 tons in 1998.