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EPA Applauds Environmental Champions from New Jersey

Release Date: 04/24/2009
Contact Information: Elizabeth Myer (212) 637-3860,

(New York, N.Y.) In conjunction with Earth Day, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) presented Environmental Quality Awards to representatives from seven projects across New Jersey for their efforts to protect the environment. EPA Acting Regional Administrator George Pavlou presented the awards today at a ceremony at EPA’s office in Manhattan, and environmental advocate Majora Carter delivered keynote remarks.

“These exemplary environmental stewards have gone above and beyond for environmental change in local communities around New Jersey,” said Pavlou. “Let their extraordinary contributions remind us all that we can make our world a better place and individuals really inspire others and make a lasting difference.”

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 and public health in EPA Region 2, which covers New Jersey, New York, 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

Federal, State, Local, or Tribal Government or Agency
Naval Air Engineering Station, Lakehurst
In order to sustain its expanding military mission under increasingly stringent environmental requirements, the Naval Air Engineering Station (NAES) has relied on its environmental management system as the primary means to achieve environmental compliance and improve environmental quality. In 2008 the station achieved a total solid waste diversion rate of 94 percent, reduced hazardous waste generation by 27 percent, and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by 33 percent. In addition, NAES has preserved over 400 acres adjacent to the station, providing a future environment that includes open lands, species habitat, and resource stewardship.

Rapid Beach Water Quality Test, Monmouth County Health Department, Freehold; New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Trenton; Ocean County Health Department, Toms River; Ocean County Utilities Authority, Bayville
The Monmouth County Health Department, Ocean County Health Department, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and Ocean County Utilities Authority partnered with EPA Region 2 to design, implement and evaluate a new way to monitor waters off bathing beaches. The task force worked meticulously to evaluate methods with the potential to better protect human health through the use of more rapid test methods. This project was the first large-scale study for marine bathing beach samples. By producing results in as little as three hours, the new method presents public health officials with same day data to make decisions on public use of marine swimming and recreational areas.

Business and Industry
New York Shipping Association, Edison
Over the past five years, the New York Shipping Association (NYSA) has initiated a series of changes to equipment and operations in the Port of New York and New Jersey that have resulted in a 45 percent reduction of air emissions per ton of cargo. Green initiatives include the institution of no idling zones, electronic gate systems, extended gate hours, modernization of cargo handling equipment and use of alternative energy sources. NYSA also developed the port support zone and the freight village concepts to minimize the environmental and societal impact of the port on nearby urban areas.

Environmental Education
Rowan University, Department of Chemical Engineering, Glassboro
Rowan University assists the pharmaceutical industry in EPA Region 2 in source reduction, pollution prevention, and green engineering design through the use of an innovative engineering clinic outreach program led by Drs. C. Stewart Slater and Mariano Savelski. To date, Rowan University has conducted two major technical assistance efforts, and had significant accomplishments related to the dissemination of the principles of green engineering to the larger pharmaceutical industry, students in training, and international community through sponsoring and participating in seminars, conferences, and workshops.

Rutgers University, New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, Solid Waste Resource Renewal Group, New Brunswick
The Solid Waste Resource Renewal Group launched a food waste recycling industry in New Jersey that currently has commitments from major cities to develop and implement food waste recycling programs. These efforts will convert food scraps from waste into a resource and will help to create jobs and reduce green emissions throughout the state. The Solid Waste Resource Renewal Group has worked extensively to initiate food recycling programs in school districts at several academic levels.

Non-Profit Organization, Environmental or Community Group
New Jersey Tree Foundation, Trenton
The New Jersey Tree Foundation is an organization dedicated to the promotion, development, and revitalization of neighborhoods through community-based tree planting. In the past year, the foundation planted 3,097 large shade trees and 11,596 tree seedlings across the state with the help of 7,063 volunteers. Recognizing that there is a pressing need to support the planting and care of community forests, the foundation is committed to providing exceptional forestry services, and opportunities to New Jersey’s cities and towns. Through partnerships with both the private and public sector, the foundation reinforces the notion that planting a tree can bring hope to neglected neighborhoods.

Press and Media
Andrea Romero, 47 Telemundo / NBC, Fort Lee
Andrea Romero is chief meteorologist and nightly weather anchor for Spanish language WNJU Telemundo/NBC News where she produces and reports on environmental issues. Romero has been instrumental in providing EPA with a venue for timely consumer oriented environmental stories and has made significant personal contributions to the Agency’s mission by expanding outreach to minority and non-English speaking populations in which environmental issues are a concern.