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EPA To Honor 44 Western Environmental Heroes
Release Date: 4/21/2003
Contact Information: Leo Kay, (415) 947-4306; or Wendy Chavez, (415) 947-4248
SAN FRANCISCO -- During the agency's fifth annual Environmental Awards Ceremony in San Francisco tomorrow, U.S. EPA Regional Administrator Wayne Nastri will present plaques to 44 western organizations and individuals in recognition of their efforts to protect and preserve the environment in 2002.
"These groups and individuals have applied creativity, teamwork and leadership in addressing many of the west's most pressing and complex environmental problems," Nastri said. "Thanks to their efforts, our air, water and land will be cleaner and safer for generations to come. The winners set an example for all of us to follow."
The EPA Region 9 Environmental Awards program acknowledges commitment and significant contributions to the environment in California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii, Guam and tribal lands. Forty four groups and individuals were selected from over 200 nominees received this year from businesses, media, local, state and federal government officials, tribes, environmental organizations and citizen activists.
The winners and basis for recognition are:
LOCAL, STATE, TRIBAL OR FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
Ken Edwards, Manager, Imperial National Wildlife Refuge
Ken Edwards is the new manager of the Imperial National Wildlife Refuge, a refuge that encompasses more than 25,000 acres located about 30 miles north of Yuma. The refuge was established in 1941primarily to protect riparian (wet) areas, along the Colorado River. Edwards' first priority is to continue conserving wildlife and providing the best possible opportunities for the public to enjoy the refuge and educate more people in Yuma about what it has to offer. Another big challenge is to get rid of all the salt cedar trees and restore the area with its natural willow, cottonwood and mesquite trees. Edwards believes that restoring the natural vegetation will give food, shelter and nesting areas to the animals of the refuge. Ken Edwards is also a recent recipient of a Citation for Superior Service presented by the Department of the Interior.
City of Los Angeles Environmental Affairs Department
The City of Los Angeles Environmental Affairs Department serves as the city's environmental leader. The department is involved in improving air quality, managing materials and waste resources, helping improve water and other natural resources, and in providing environmental information. Since 1996, the city has exceeded its target of increasing its alternative-fuel vehicles fleet by 15 percent annually, now operating over 800 vehicles. The department provides leadership on city-wide development of brownfields sites, budgeting over $4 million for more than 60 projects in L.A. The department has obtained numerous grants to plant nearly 20,000 shade trees at schools, parks, and along city streets and initiated a "Gardens for Kids LA" program that provides materials and labor to create gardens at nearly 100 schools over three years.
The Chumash People, Southern California Foundation/Ventura Coastkeeper
The Chumash Nation is being recognized for its timely and historic achievement in creating the first Tribal Marine Protected Area Network and other environmental accomplishments. Noting rampant coastal development and overfishing of the waters around the Channel Islands, they worked to create the first Tribal Marine Protected Area that included six islands and 100 miles of coast. This effort was led by Mati Waiya, Wishtoyo Foundation Founder, Turtle Clan Head. Under Mati Waiya's leadership individuals prepared maps and literature about the area in native language; drafted a management plan integrated with land-based conservation; and requested a fleet of federal surplus vessels for use in research and habitat enhancement. The Chumash also founded a community based organization charged with monitoring Clean Water Act compliance, water testing and youth education; performed sea-based marine patrols of Ventura Harbor and adjacent coastal waters; and preserved their attachment to the sea through story telling, songs and dances.
The primary goal of the Presidio Compost and Regeneration Program is to develop high-quality, natural soil amendments for use throughout this spectacular 1,500-acre Army post turned national park. In 2002, this program produced over 800 cubic yards of compost for use on landscapes, grounds, forests, and natural areas. In addition to improving soils at the Presidio, this program helped the Trust and others eliminate toxic material use and significantly reduce waste. Over 3,500 cubic yards of organic debris were diverted from the waste stream, and the golf course reduced pesticide use to 98 percent less than private San Francisco golf courses. The program is essential to the restoration and healthy maintenance of the Presidio. This valuable environmental program is made possible by the vision, hard work, enthusiasm, and dedication of two young women; Jean Koch, Presidio Compost Coordinator and Christa Conforti, Presidio Integrated Pest Management Coordinator.
SunLine Transit Agency
Thousand Palms, CA
In 1994, SunLine Transit Agency was the first public transit agency to park a fleet of diesel buses and convert overnight to a fleet powered entirely by alternate fuels. This dramatic fleet conversion was just the first phase of what became a cutting edge clean fuels agenda. The year 2002 not only marked the 25th anniversary of SunLine Transit Agency, but also the completion of its 60-vehicle fleets first 25 million miles using advanced clean fuel technologies. SunLine Transit Agency is committed to advancing zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell technology. SunLine is now in its third year of producing hydrogen (including on site generation from renewable solar power and natural gas reforming) and using it in prototype vehicles. SunLine is also a driving force behind the Coachella Valley's award- winning Clean Cities program.
Clark County Parks and Community Services
In conjunction with thousands of local volunteers from the Las Vegas community, the Clark County Department of Parks and Community Services (Clark County Parks) established the Las Vegas Wash Wetlands Park. The Wetlands Park is the largest open space in the Las Vegas Valley, covering a 2900-acre, seven- by one-mile strip of land bordering both sides of the Las Vegas Wash. Clark County Parks has designed a Park which protects and enhances wetlands for wildlife habitat, environmental education, and recreation. The Park's focal point, a 130-acre Nature Preserve, includes parking facilities, trails, ponds, amphitheaters and a bird viewing blind. Clark County Parks deserves recognition for their creative and effective use of both local volunteers and available funding in creating an invaluable, unique refuge in Las Vegas which provides valuable lessons on this area's natural resources.
City of Sierra Vista
Sierra Vista has developed and installed a comprehensive water management program to preserve its sub- watershed. This unique initiative consists of three major components: an environmental operations park, a water management team and a water wise program. The city dedicated its environmental operations park July 1, 2002. The facility is capable of recharging more than 2,000 acre feet of water annually with the potential to recharge nearly 4,000 acre feet at build-out. The water management team implements water conservation programs and involves the community in water management issues. This initiative won the 2001 Arizona Governors Pride Award for water conservation. The water wise program is now a countywide partnership that includes free water audits for homes/businesses; water conservation how-to information; a hotline; a youth education component; and 14 public information sites.
Linda Lewis, Ronnie Lanier, Jim Tayon
Hickam Air Force Base, HI
In 2002, Hickam Air Force Base implemented an outstanding environmentally preferable purchasing program. The environmental impacts of purchasing programs are tremendous. For example, buying recycled paper cuts air pollution associated with virgin paper production by 74 percent, cuts water pollution by 35 percent, and saves 12 percent of the energy used to produce paper. Hickam established recycled product procurement of more than 50 products ranging from re-refined oil to cement containing flyash to recycled paper products. Hickam changed purchasing practices by implementing an "affirmative procurement plan" and providing monthly training on environmental purchasing not only to procurement officials, but also to contractors, soldiers, government employees, and credit card holders. The base requires written unit commander authorization to buy products that do not meet their high environmental purchasing standards. Hickam's environmental purchasing program is definitely one of the best in the region.
Tom Kane, Dr. Robert Esher and Phillip Malloy
Space and Missile Defense Command U.S. Army, Kwajalein Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands
In the last year, Tom Kane, Dr. Robert Esher and Phillip Malloy of the US Army on Kwajalein Atoll have led a remarkable effort to reduce by over 70 percent the amount of waste going to the local landfill through aggressive recycling and reuse. They have even begun mining the exisiting landfill for recyclable material, making Kwajalein the only island in the Pacific whose landfill is shrinking. Their first step was to begin composting wood, cardboard, and paper waste create soil, a valuable commodity in the Marshall Islands. They crush glass to make sand used in local construction projects. Sand previously had to be imported onto the island. Tiny Kwajalein Atoll now recycles more than one million aluminum cans per year. Tires are now shredded tires to use as a fuel supplement, reducing fuel imports. The trio even created "Bicycle Heaven", where people can leave their old rusted bike in "heaven" and get a free refurbished bike made of cannibalized parts from derelict bikes. The remarkable outcome of Kane's, Esher's and Malloy's leadership is that the Kwajalein landfill is getting smaller day by day. They have revolutionized the concept of waste, turning it into precious resources for their own island and for export to nearby islands.
Hawaii Bottle Bill
Suzanne Jones, Department of Environmental Services
Gretchen Ammerman, Hawaii Department of Health
Jeff Mikulina, Sierra Club Representative
Hermina M. Morita
Hawai'i became the 11th state to pass a container deposit law or "bottle bill," and the first state to pass a bottle bill in 16 years. The Hawaii bottle bill will impose a nickel deposit on all beverage cans and bottles except milk beginning in 2005. The deposits will be refunded to consumers when the beverage containers are returned for recycling. The bill also phases in an additional charge of up to one and a half cents per beverage container that the state Department of Health will use to support recycling. If the U.S. could increase beverage container recycling from the current national rate of approximately 40 percent to at least 80 percent a rate that has been reached in most bottle bill states we could save the energy equivalent of 42 million barrels of crude oil, or enough energy to meet the electrical needs of 7 million U.S. homes. Hawai'i's leadership in reducing waste will breathe new life into the campaign to conserve resources and make beverage producers responsible for their packaging waste.
ENVIRONMENTAL COMMUNITY OR NON-PROFIT
Pima County Community College District
Pima Community College is the sixth-largest multi-campus community college in the nation, with more than 84,000 enrolled students. The Plaza Building at Pima Community College's Desert Vista Campus has been awarded a bronze rating from the U.S. Green Building Council. The energy model for this building shows that it will use 21 percent less energy than a standard building. The energy savings will pay back higher construction costs in the first 10 years of the minimum 50-year building life. The college also includes some green standards in its specifications for bidding and construction on its campuses, including requirements for resource efficiency and management. The college has been extremely proactive with the many pollution prevention activities it has enacted since the mid 80's, from irrigating athletic fields with reclaimed water to shading its parking lots to establishing mercury free campuses. They are a model in the community for demonstrating environmental stewardship.
Concerned Citizens of South Central Los Angeles
Juan Garcia is a 22-year-old college student at California State University-Los Angeles. He is also Youth Coordinator for Concerned Citizens of South Central Los Angeles. Garcia has worked long hours to improve the South Central community by establishing several community cleanups to educate South Central residents about city services and focus the efforts of local residents of all ages on keeping their block clean and taking pride in their community. Juan works with a group called POWER youth, providing training and coaching on environmental justice, workers rights and other leadership development skills. The POWER youth, with Garcia's supervision, go to local schools in the South Central area to educate students on environmental justice and worker rights. Garcia, the youth and the residents work also maintain and improve a South Central community garden. He is also working with a local artist to create a mural in front of Thomas Jefferson High School that will bring the diverse community together. He is truly one of South Central LA's most promising leaders.
St. Elizabeth Community Hospital
Red Bluff, CA
St. Elizabeth Community Hospital is one of the first 100 hospitals in the nation to commit to the "Healthcare Without Harm" waste reduction promise. Every department in the hospital has something to contribute to waste reduction, re-use or recycling. Good re-usable furniture and products are donated to a hospital run Hospice thrift store or the Home Health for Hispanic Mothers program. Ink and toner cartridges are donated to a local school which recycles them and uses the funds for school field trips. Blue wrap is recycled in the surgery department. Stretch wrap is recycled in the receiving department. This year the X-ray department purchased a new film developer machine that will reduce hospital water and chemical use by half. The cafeteria recycles cups and plastic ware as well as aluminum cooking pans and cooking oil. This year our Earth Day program will include a community wide mercury thermometer exchange. St Elizabeth's is a small but significant hospital doing their part to 'first do no harm.'
Providing Resolutions with Integrity for a Sustainable Molokai (PRISM)
Kualapuu School, Kualapuu, HI
"Providing Resolutions with Integrity for a Sustainable Molokai" is the mission of PRISM students, who look at tough environmental issues as opportunities for learning and developing collaborative partnerships. In 2002, PRISM students provided curbside recycling services for three areas of the island, and designed and implemented a school recycling program. PRISM students worked with State Representative Hermina Morita to introduce bottle bill legislation, followed the bottle bill through the legislative process and presented their data before two committee hearings. The bill passed in 2002. Each year, fifth- and sixth-grade PRISM students select one environmental issue for investigation. Students gather background information and write research questions and data collection instruments. They plan and host a symposium to share their investigations with the community. These island students have made "business" trips all the way to Texas, Alaska, Japan, and neighbor islands to share their research.
Doretta Winkelman and PROBEA staff
Proyecto Bioregional de Educacion Ambiental (PROBEA)
PROBEA is a collaboration of organizations from Mexico and the United States who support environmental education throughout the bioregion of San Diego and Baja California. In 2002, they trained 340 teachers and 30 volunteers about local watersheds, conservation, and water quality protection. They helped produce a 30-minute educational CD-Rom in Spanish and English about the Tijuana River Watershed. They obtained funding to develop a Spanish-language version of the "Ocean Oasis"film, which depicts the biological diversity of Baja California and the Sea of Cortez. They translated, edited, and produced a Spanish language website and teacher's guide for "Ocean Oasis." The group's efforts have provided twelve years of ongoing support to teachers, resulting in increased awareness about environmental threats to ecosystems, and adoption of behavior changes to prevent future degradation. PROBEA's activities have impacted over 30,000 children, setting the stage for long term environmental improvement and caretaking in the border region.
Peninsula Open Space Trust
Menlo Park, CA
Peninsula Open Space Trust is dedicated to protecting the beauty, character, and diversity of the San Francisco Peninsula coast. Since its founding in 1977 by a small group of local, visionary citizens, the Trust has protected more than 50,000 acres of open space. Celebrating its 25th Anniversary in 2002, the Trust undertook an unprecedented $200 million campaign to save 20,000 acres of endangered coast. One of several high profile accomplishments, the Trust spearheaded a partnership with California State Parks to acquire and restore the 130-year-old Pigeon Point Lighthouse. Thanks to the Trust's hard work, the Lighthouse remains in the public trust and the 7,500 acres surrounding the Lighthouse are protected and look much the same as when built in 1873.
Ritu Primlani, Greening South Asian Restaurants
Rita Primlani's organization, Greening South Asian Restaurants, seeks to educate and facilitate South Asian restaurants in implementing environmental practices such as waste reduction, recycling, composting, energy efficiency, improving water quality and pollution prevention. The organization has partnered with 30 different restaurants in the Bay Area, including Indian, Thai, Persian, Tibetan, African American, Ethiopian, Burmese, Mediterranean, Chinese, and Latin and South American. To ensure program access, Greening South Asian Restaurant's work includes providing language interpreters for non-English speaking restaurant owners. The program has conserved more than 79,0000 kilowatts of energy per year, diverted 83 percent of waste to composting and recycling and conserved more than one million gallons of water saving the 30 participating restaurants a collective $55,000. The success rate for participating restaurants has been a staggering 93 percent.
!Ohi!a Productions "Educational Road Shows Program" sends small troupes of actors to schools, public, and private events to educate audiences on key environmental issues through singing, dancing, and puppetry. Show themes range from native ecosystems to watersheds to coral reef protection. Every show concludes with information on how the environment is harmed, and what humans can do to protect our world. Last year, approximately 36,000 schoolchildren throughout the islands attended the popular and highly educational play performances. In testiment to the show's tremendous popularity, the company received a grant from Hawaiian Airlines to tour the plays statewide, and with support from the State Departments of Health, and Land & Natural Resources, videos were made and copies provided to every elementary school and public library in the state.
Menlo Park, CA
Formed in 1995, Project Build was the first brownfields job training program in the nation and enrolls formerly incarcerated students, substance abusers, and the unemployed. By the most recent tally, 80 percent of trainees completed their programs and 93 percent of graduates were placed in jobs paying an average wage of $11.42 per hour. Under the passionate and unflappable leadership of Alonzo Emery, Project Build has certified hundreds of trainees in skills including basic construction, hazardous waste handling, and lead and asbestos abatement, resulting in contaminated wetlands being restored, overall neighborhood and community revitalization, and a trained workforce ready to take on environmental careers. In recommending this nomination to us, Patricia Foster, Mayor of East Palo Alto wrote, "Alonza (Emery) and Project Build are revitalizing East Palo Alto's environment, not just in the soil and groundwater, but in our people's hearts and lives".
Pigs in Paradise
Jim Wimberly and Glen Fukumoto
American Samoa comprises only 76 square miles. Within this same area, there are 33,000 pigs (and 60,000 people). Responding to manure management concerns, a multi-agency initiative funded by USDA-NRCS launched a new project "Pursuing Effective Pig Manure Management and Utilization in
American Samoa". Project activities included technical assistance, information dissemination, and deployment of appropriate technologies. Project results are beginning an important shift towards beneficial use of nutrients while reducing the potential for adverse environmental and human health impacts from piggery operations. Program accomplishments are shared through http://www.pigsinparadise.info, and are educational resources for other piggeries throughout the Pacific. The Pigs in Paradise work is an important step in developing effective practices for village piggeries that can sustain cultural richness while protecting the environment. Wimberly is president of the Foundation for Organic Resources Management and Fukumoto is the Agricultural Extension Agent for the University of Hawaii/Big Island.
Sandy Bahr is the Conservation Outreach Director for the Sierra Clubs Grand Canyon Chapter in Phoenix, Arizona. With a passion for protecting the environment and an inspirational approach, Sandy is an exceptional advocate for Arizona's environment. Through her work, she plays an active role monitoring and responding to proposed legislation and providing Arizona legislators with detailed environmental information. In addition to developing and issuing an Arizona State of the Environment Report, last year she took leadership roles on numerous bills before the Legislature with significant environmental impact, and organized Environmental Legislative Day. Never content to rest on past accomplishments, this year Sandy is joining other environmental activists in developing a comprehensive Arizona 2003 Conservation Agenda, a strategic plan including air quality, citizen participation, energy policy, environmental justice, land use, water resources, and wildlife protection.
El Monte, CA
June Burton, a third grade teacher at Twin Lakes Schools, is an environmental cheerleader who leads by example and teaches her students that one person can make a difference. With a special interest in recycling, June formed "Recycling Kids". Students bring discards from home, make creative and useful items, sell the products, and with the profits adopt habitats for endangered species. On a broader level, working with the private sector June initiated efforts to recycle school lunch trays and plastic milk sacks. The chair or her school's Recycling Committee, June wrote a manual for replicating school-based recycling programs and speaks on the topic at conferences. She's currently working on ways to sustain her programs after a well-earned retirement.
Isao Kobashi is one of the nation's pioneers in pollution prevention. He helped shape the pollution prevention movement in the west and nationwide -- leading ultimately to the passage of the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990. He's worked tirelessly to reduce, reuse and recycle by leading the Western Regional P2 Network, and as Santa Clara County's pollution prevention program manager. Kobashi also established two national P2 networks and is widely credited with the creation of California's Pollution Prevention week and as an advocate to making a P2 week nationwide. He is known for his innovative business to business mentoring and his work helping printers adopt greener technologies and business practices. Kobashi's life work has focused on reducing toxics, conserving water and energy and preventing further environmental degradation.
With unwavering determination and cooperative spirit Milton Yazzie has voluntarily organized an education campaign for uranium-impacted communities and the Navajo Nation. Yazzie lives in rural Blackfalls, AZ where there's no running water and the natural water sources are contaminated by uranium. His family and neighbors have cancer or other medical problems. Some families drink the water, or like Yazzie, drive an hour to Flagstaff to get clean water. Despite approaching numerous agencies, the area remains without clean, regulated water. He's walked door-to-door and traveled hours to attend uranium meetings. He partnered with Northern Arizona University to do sampling in his area and then organized community meetings to relay the results. In July 2002, over 50 Navajo-speaking residents, EPA uranium experts, the Army Corps of Engineers, Navajo EPA, Dina College, and health agencies traveled to his house -- with no running water and temperatures over 103 degrees -- to attend an educational workshop. His organizing reached Navajo residents who might never attend an EPA public meeting and serves as a outreach model for the Navajo Nation and similar communities.
George Zastrow has proven to be a true friend to the Russian River. He co-chaired the Russian River Cleanup, which yielded 2,000 tires, more than 400 yards of general trash, over 200 yards of scrap metal, 150 barrels of recyclable materials, car batteries, paints, solvents and industrial materials all dredged from the 53 miles of the Russian River from Cloverdale to Jenner. He's succeeded in acquiring local, state and federal funds for this effort. He now volunteers to scout out potential clean upsites and "watch dogs" industry on the Lower Russian River. Through his tireless efforts, one of the most noteworthy water shed and river contamination cases was brought to justice. Zastrow also owns and operates a local print shop where he uses the large glass storefront window to display panoramas depicting the river in both splendor and peril reminding the community that the river's health is of the utmost importance.
Foxborough Elementary School
Aliso Viejo, CA
As part of the Watershed Community Outreach and Education program, Montgomery's students are learning about how local communities - fourth graders included - can take care of and preserve their local watersheds. The students begin by doing internet research, speaking with experts and using local library resources to educate themselves as to what a watershed is, where local watershed organizations exist in the community and what can be done to educate others. They then develop a community outreach bulletin board informing people how they can help with their watershed, listing where cleanup crews can meet and work together, and other useful information. The final phase of Montgomery's curriculum has students developing a community Web site that includes drawings that depict the students' ideas of clean water, along with other information that allows community members to get involved in local restoration efforts. The Watershed Community Outreach and Education program teaches students invaluable research skills, educates them on their natural surroundings and instills the values of community activism all in one fell swoop.
BUSINESS, INDUSTRY OR TRADE ASSOCIATION
The Dow Wetlands Environmental Team
For the past 12 years a team of Dow employees, retirees, and community members have labored tirelessly to create an award winning wetlands habitat between the cities of Pittsburg and Antioch, Calif. along the banks of the San Joaquin River near its confluence with the Sacramento River. Led by employees Krist Jensen and Sheryl Sturges, the area was cleared of debris and abandoned auto bodies. The Dow Wetlands is used for public enjoyment and education and is registered with the Wildlife Habitat Council, who awarded the wetlands its national Corporate Habitat of the Year in 2000. The Dow team has partnered with UC Berkeley, the Lindsay Wildlife Museum, Learner Centered School, Lincoln Childcare Center, local school districts, and other organizations to restore, rehabilitate and management the wildlife habitat. The annual Environmental Faire draws approximately 1,500 to 2,000 visitors. Coastal America and the Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership recently approached the team to lead other corporations t
hroughout California to undertake conservation and wetlands restoration projects.
Straus Family Creamery
The Straus Family Creamery, an organic dairy processor that processes milk from its own dairy and two others, has consistently pushed the envelope to improve its environmental responsibility. Straus bottles its milk in recycled and reusable glass bottles, has retooled equipment to use less water, and supports family farmers in its area by helping them convert to organic. With the help of the Resource Conservation District and the EPA, the creamery put in a methane digester to power both its dairy and its upcoming new creamery. The company has hired a green architect to plan an environmentally responsible manufacturing plant and it works closely with the community to minimize non-point source pollution. The Straus Family Creamery works to educate the community on organic, family farmers, the benefits of reusable packaging, and other environmental issues.
Judi Henderson of Mannequin Madness
Mannequin Madness creatively reuses and recycles mannequins and is a one of its kind in Northern California. Opening its doors in 2001, the store rents or resells old, broken, or unused mannequins at significant discount to businesses, non-profits, and individuals. In one six-month period, Mannequin Madness diverted over 100,000 pounds of mannequins from Bay Area landfills. The store pays a small incentive fee for the 7-20 pound mannequins that would normally be dumped into landfills where they do not easily biodegrade. State Senator Jackie Speier along with the San Francisco Renaissance Entrepreneur Center last year awarded the business the "Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year Award.@ Mannequin Madness also uses recycled styrofoam peanuts when shipping mannequins and is a local recycle collection facility for styrofoam peanuts.
Ocean Beach People's Organic Food Co-op
Ocean Beach People's Organic Food Co-op is a customer owned California Cooperative and retail vegetarian food store. The co-op's new green building is constructed of recycled content steel, engineered lumber, and non-toxic, recycled and sustainably harvested building materials. The Co-op reduced the use of materials with open beam ceilings, exposed framing, and minimal flooring designs. The deli and community room have flooring made from linseed oil, woodflour, pine rosin, jute and limestone. The co-op's roof has photovoltaic cells that provides most of the building's power. The store uses a solar thermosyphon system for hot water, low flush toilets, motion sensor faucets, and is landscaped with drought-tolerant plants. The refrigeration system and walk-in coolers are all energy efficient. The co-op provides recycling tips in its newsletter, uses double-sided printing and pays 5 cents in addition to a raffle ticket per reusable bag that customers bring in. The co-op partners with schools to teach the benefits of recycling, organic farming and organic composting.
Environmental Circuit Prosecutor Project: California District Attorneys Association
The California District Attorneys Associations Environmental Circuit Prosecutor Project is a unique and innovative program that provides experienced environmental prosecutors and training to rural counties that lack the expertise and the personnel to prosecute environmental crime. In one of its biggest settlements, circuit prosecutors along with the Attorney General's office, negotiated with responsible parties in Stanislaus County for violations stemming from the Westley tire fire that engulfed over five million waste tires in 1999. Since its inception in 1998, the circuit prosecutor project has handled over 900 major environmental cases and obtained more than $22 million in penalties, fines and costs. Because of state budget cuts, this program often stands as the sole source of environmental enforcement and training in many rural counties and also provides a potential deterrent to violations, further protecting public health and the environment.
Margaret Perry, Nan Deniston, and Wayne Miller
Smith Ranch, Parker Family Forest and Miller Ranch
Mendocino County, CA
The families of these three ranches located in the Ten Mile River watershed of Mendocino County are being recognized for their good land stewardship. They are committed to implementing the best management practices coupled with a sustainable forestry philosophy that preserves the beauty of their lands, sustains its economic viability and promotes the recovery of the watershed and threatened salmon species. Leaving light footprints on the landscape is a continuing commitment by these ranchers -- an accelerated recovery of this sediment-impaired watershed is expected because of their combined work. These landowners' silvicultural operations have resulted in water protection, soil stability, forest productivity, wildlife habitat and natural diversity for further generations to come.
Hewlett Packard Product Recycling Solutions Program
Mountain View, CA
Hewlett Packard has been an industry leader in its efforts to promote recycling and product stewardship. Electronic waste is the fastest growing municipal waste stream and is posing problems to waste management programs across the country. This growing, changing product stream presents new challenges and responsibilities in designing and managing electronic products to reduce their life-cycle environmental impacts. Hewlett Packard's computer hardware recycling service is a simple and environmentally sound take-back program that offers consumers and business customers the ability to return any piece of computer hardware from any manufacturer. Its state-of-the- art processing facilities ensure that unwanted hardware is reused or recycled in a way that conserves resources. tt Packard program provides leadership in the electronic manufacturing industry and protects the environment from contamination from toxic materials such as lead, mercury and cadmium.
Will Sword and Nicholas King
Will Sword and Nicholas King deserve recognition for their exemplary efforts on behalf of British Petroleum South-West Pacific Limited, in coordinating underground storage tank compliance at service stations on Tutuila, American Samoa. Even though their employer did not own or operate any of these facilities, Sword and King volunteered to organize a consortium of owners and operators to cost-effectively address compliance activities on an island wide basis. Their work, providing a wide range of valuable services to the facilities, was coordinated with American Samoa EPA and Region IX, and was a critical factor in rapidly correcting the violations found at so many facilities, many of which were mom and pop service stations who would have had trouble complying with the regulations. As a result, all known operating facilities in American Samoa have upgraded to the required standards. Sword's and King's efforts are an outstanding example of individuals making a difference. Their works also led to a partnership between private companies and government regulators and most importantly, to long- term benefits for the environment.
LA Times / San Bernardino Sun / Huhtamaki / Nelson Nameplate
Lithographic Printing Cleanup Solvent Group
Over the last two years, a group of four companies Huhtamaki, Nelson Nameplate, Los Angeles Times Chatsworth Facility and the San Bernardino Sun have worked with the Institute for Research and Technical Assistance on a project sponsored by California EPA's Department of Toxic Substance Control, to test and/or implement alternative cleanup solvents for their lithographic printing operations. The alternatives used by these companies result in much lower toxicity than the cleaning agents used by other lithographic printers. All four of the companies use water-based, soy- based or acetone-based cleaners for cleaning. The four companies serve as an example of what 54,000 lithographic printing companies in the country can accomplish to better protect human health and the environment. They demonstrated that alternative cleanup solvents can be used effectively on a daily basis and that their use reduces emissions of toxics and volatile organic compounds, worker exposure, hazardous waste generation and wastewater discharges.
Voluntary Mercury Air Emission Reduction Program
Four Nevada gold mines, Newmont Mining Corporation, Barrick Goldstrike Mines Inc., Anglogold/Jerritt Canyon Corporation and Placer Dome America as well as the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection are being recognized for their work to reduce mercury air emissions. These Nevada mines have been working to voluntarily reduce mercury air emissions from a baseline amount of over 16,000 lbs of mercury a year. Over the last year, the mines have successfully installed new air pollution control devices or made process changes that have reduced mercury air emissions by over 75 per cent, surpassing the goal of the voluntary program to reduce emissions by 50 percent by 2005. This is the most significant reduction of a major bioaccumulative pollutant ever made. These companies have shown leadership and cooperation in working with one another and with EPA and Nevada's Department of Environmental Protection. They have also encouraged other Nevada mines to join the voluntary program.
The Warner Bros. studio facility is like a small city, encompassing 145 acres, housing up to 10,000 workers a day--and has successfully integrated environmental values into its operational decisions. Last year's efforts included an aggressive campaign to reduce energy consumption through a combination of technology, education and planning. The studio implemented innovative energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies that saved an annual 4.3 million kilowatts and more than a half-million dollars; diverted nearly 60 percent of waste otherwise headed to landfills; required trash haulers to use only clean-fuel vehicles when collecting from the studio and surrounding facilities; and actively engaged studio employees in developing and implementing creative and long-lasting strategies for helping the company protect the environment in the course of doing business. Warner Bros. has taken advantage of its influence and market power to become a true leader in a "greening of Hollywood" and all that it touches.
Petaluma Poultry is considered a leader in the production of natural, free range and organic chicken. Early in 2001 a group of 13 employees voluntarily created the company's "sustainability team" to reduce the facility's ecological footprint. By 2002, the facility's workforce of 240 people had greened operations at the feed mill, hatchery, farms and processing plant/administration and sales offices. While Petaluma Poultry's production increased by over 20 percent in 2002, natural gas usage per unit decreased by roughly 4 percent thanks to a more efficient boiler and careful management and the gathering of real-time data in the barns. Long ago the company abandoned the use of herbicides, experimenting with white distilled vinegar and using push mowers to control weeds in the native grass landscaping where the free range chickens roam. A vector control strip keeps insects and rodents controlled. Petaluma Poultry runs an aggressive recycling program for everything from paper, cardboard and glass to wood
pallets, oil filters and antifreeze. The facility also recycles 30,000 square yards of bedding and manure annually, providing materials to local landscapers, vineyards, pastures and rice fields.
Michael Haro, Manager of Environmental Resources Lockheed Martin Aeronautics
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter A Design-for-the-Environment Product reduces hazardous materials use in production, operations and maintenance throughout the product life of the aircraft. Banned and restricted hazardous materials were designed out of the fighter and its air support system, and the remaining materials are controlled through a product data management system. Only 53 hazardous materials are used to support the aircraft system, down from the 214 materials for the YF-22 and 300 to 400 materials for other Air Force prototypes. The traditional solvent coating system was replaced with a removable applique, reducing emissions of volatile organic solvents and hazardous air pollutants. Chrome-free primer coatings and sealants were used, eliminating airborne hexavalent chrome emissions and disposal of hazardous paint filters and wastes. The product also used many other innovative practices to reduce the risks of cadmium and solvent exposure to workers. An internet-based data management system tracks,
identifies, locates and replaces hazardous materials before and after market to control the use, storage and disposal of hazardous materials.
Crop Care Hawaii, John McHugh and Lynn Constanides
Dramatic changes are occurring in Hawaiian agriculture. Large plantations are closing. Small independent farmers are leasing agricultural lands and growing a variety of crops where a single crop of sugarcane grew. Many of these independent farmers are native to Laos, Vietnam, China, Korea, Thailand and the Philippines, do not understand English, and are suspicious of government agencies. Crop Care Hawaii provides pest control consulting services to this new class of farmers in Hawaii. For example, when a flood caused significant damage in a production area leased by small farmers, Crop Care Hawaii assisted them in securing financial assistance to begin again. Crop Care Hawaii offers many types of pesticide regulatory training too, including worker protection system training for other trainers, agricultural workers and pesticide handlers. In the past two years, McHugh and Constanides trained 77 new trainers on the Worker Protection Standard; offered integrated pest management classes and on farm consulti
ng services to non-English proficient farmers; and offered classes for pesticide applicators on pesticide safety and pest management strategies.
Western Carwash Association
The Western Carwash Association has helped save millions of gallons of water from flowing into storm drains every year by encouraging community groups and non-profit organizations to hold their charity carwashes at a professional carwash instead of parking lots or school driveways. Most charity groups do not realize that when they hold a fundraising car wash, they are actually harming the environment. As many as 140 gallons of water can be used in a 10 minute parking lot carwash. Engine and brake residue may consist of antifreeze, grease, oil, copper and asbestos. Paint and vehicle exhaust contain heavy metals such as lead, zinc, and rust. Soap contains phosphates, chlorine, and other non-biodegradable ingredients that are toxic to fish and other marine life. San Diego water officials estimate that the discharge from a single fundraising carwash introduces the same amount of solids in the San Diego storm drain system as a sewage spill of more than 6,000 gallons. Professional full and self-serve carwashes reclaim and filter the water, enough so that 85 percent of the water used at a full-service carwash is reclaimed.
Petaluma & Irvine, CA
For 100 years, 3M's success has come from developing innovative technologies and products to meet customers' needs. 3M is committed to sustainable development through environmental protection, social responsibility and economic progress. From 1990-2001, the company reduced its volatile organic air emissions by 91 percent, its manufacturing releases to water by 84 percent, reduced its rate of waste generation by 35 percent and reduced by 88 percent chemical releases reported annually to the EPA's Toxic Release Inventory . In addition, 3M has been an active member in the EPA's National Environmental Performance Track program. Over the last year, 3M has assisted Region 9 recruit new performance track members and set the bar for environmental excellence in Region 9.
Last Gasp: A Special Report on Valley Air Quality
Last Gasp: a Special Report on Valley Air Quality exhibits extensive research in the subject of Valley air pollution, including its history, contributing factors, health effects, regulatory activity at all levels of government and potential solutions. A team of newspaper staff spent months interviewing regulators, physicians, community activists, farmers, industry representatives and others to present the most complete story yet on what causes the Central Valley's air problems, and what it will take to see improvement. Detailed, informative graphics and hard hitting photos complement the first person stories of asthma sufferers and others who are most affected when air quality is at its worst. The Fresno Bee is to be commended for elevating public awareness regarding the serious air pollution challenges that continue to face residents of the San Joaquin Valley. In the best tradition of the fourth estate effecting social change, the Bee continues to keep all of us on our toes as we all move forward in cleaning up air in the Valley.
Haidee V. Eugenio, Marianas Variety
Haidee Eugenio has spent years producing consistent, extensive, fearless and unbiased news coverage focusing on the causes, resolutions and preventions of environmental issues -- including the contamination of soil, groundwater, drinking water, seawater and air -- along with their effects to human health and safety. Her reports have helped not only the regulatory agencies, but also the residents, interest groups, lawmakers and top government officials in making informed decisions to participate in finding solutions to environmental problems like: PCB and lead contamination; non-permitted major stationary sources of air emissions, reckless dumping of used oil; improper disposal of used batteries and garbage; construction projects affecting the environment; and flooding, beach erosion and drinking water reports that do not reach the end-users. Eugenio's dedication and commitment in protecting human health and the environment through journalism have earned her the trust and confidence of island residents and ot
hers throughout the Pacific.
PERFORMANCE TRACK MEMBERS
The Pacific Southwest Region welcomes four new members into the National Environmental Performance Track program. Facilities seeking entry into the Performance Track Program must have adopted and implemented an environmental management system, commit to improving their environmental performance, commit to public outreach and performance reporting, and have a record of sustained compliance with environmental requirements.
Baxter Healthcare's Irvine facility manufactures medical devices to aid in the infusion of specialty drugs. Using a strong environmental management system that emphasizes resource conservation, the facility reduced their electricity use by 1,987,329 kilowatt hours in just two years. The facility has further committed to reduce its solid waste disposal, energy use and paper use by December of 2005.
NASA Ames Research Center
Moffett Field, CA
NASA Ames is a federal facility engaged in scientific research and development in the following fields: aeronautics, aerospace, information technology, astrobiology, space science, earth science, nanotechnology, biotechnology, and human exploration and development of space. Utilizing Integrated Pest Management and Integrated Vegetation Management including use of goats for vegetation control, traps for pest control and composting for fertilizer, NASA reduced their pesticide use by 98 percent in eight years (in 1994 they were applying 4,000 gallons of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers on their property, in 2002 they used 50 gallons). The facility further committed to reduce their energy use by 7,894,714 kilowatt hours by 2005.
Motorola's Global Telecom Solutions Sector Facility
Motorola's Global Telecom Solutions Sector facility is committed to protecting our environmental resources. The facility has aggressive environmental programs in place to reduce, recycle and reuse our precious natural resources. Since 1999, the site has reduced its use of water by 70 percent, natural gas by 74 percent and electricity by 40 percent. In addition, the site currently recycles 71 percent of all non-hazardous solid waste streams generated. Motorola regularly participates in both city and valley-wide environmental initiatives like electronic and hazardous waste recycling events as well as staging an annual Earth Day event at the site.
Ricoh Electronics, Inc's Tustin facility, manufactures photocopiers, printers, printed circuit boards, metal and plastic components and e-cabinets. Using a strong environmental management system that emphasizes resource reduction and recycling, the facility has succeeded in sending absolutely no waste to landfills. Between April 1999 and March 2000 the facility shipped more than 4 million pounds of solid waste to a landfill compared to none between April 2001 and March 2002. The facility has further committed to reduce its incineration of non-recycable waste for generating electricity by more than 20,000 pounds, and cut their use of lead solder in half.
Energy Star is a dynamic government/industry partnership that offers businesses and consumers energy-efficient solutions, making it easy to save money while protecting the environment for future generations by reducing energy use as well as greenhouse gas emissions.
Paratransit, Inc. is a private, nonprofit corporation that provides demand-responsive transportation services to individuals and agencies who serve both the elderly and those with disabilities. In 1998, property occupied by a former auto dealership was donated to the company to relocate and expand its maintenance, bus parking, fueling and administrative facilities. In 2002, when the 23,000 square-foot structure was transformed into a state-of-the-art facility housing the administrative offices, Paratransit made extensive structural and lighting upgrades. In addition, Paratransit built a new 10,000 square feet garage facility. In total, the upgrades produce a savings of about 235,500 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, which will prevent over 292,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, and save Paratransit more than $18,000 per year.
Santa Clara, CA
Woodcrest Hotel general manager Dean Zhang installed energy-efficient building upgrades in the 20,000 square-foot hotel with some help from Silicon Valley Power financial incentives. Zhang replaced the incandescent lamps in all 52 guest rooms with compact florescent lamps, installed light-emitting exit signs throughout, and replaced the old heat pumps with high-efficiency models. The freezer was also replaced with a new Energy Star labeled unit, and the ice machines were replaced as well. Thanks to these upgrades, the hotel saves approximately $8,600 per year, and the nearly 99,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity savings will prevent more than 123,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions annually.
Arena Christian Center
In 1994, Arena Christian Center, a 40,000 square foot church, received assistance upgrading parts of its heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system from the Sacramento Municipal Utility District. The district helped the center replace its old air conditioning units with 12 new Energy Star labeled units. The upgrade was funded through the prescriptive lighting program at the district, which was introduced in response to the California energy crisis, and is funded by the California Energy Commission. Thanks to these programs, Arena Christian Center has cut lighting cost 25 percent, and is saving 10 percent on its heating and cooling energy use. This translates to approximately 40,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity savings, and nearly 49,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions prevented annually. Financially, Arena Christian is able to redirect nearly $5,000 each year to its other priorities.
Southern California Edison Business Solutions - "Community Survey" Program
Edison Business Solutions has been working with five regional/community groups to achieve small business energy efficiency surveys and upgrades. Edison's community survey program provides energy surveyor training, and supplies survey forms, materials, and tip sheets, as well as rebate application support. Edison's business solutions program has also hosted Energy Star Expos in six cities to promote its rebate programs, and maintains a small business center online and within its customer technology center, where small businesses can find training, exhibits, displays, demonstrations, and referrals in cooperation with the state Small Business Development Center.
City of San Francisco "Power Savers" Program
Power Savers, created by San Francisco Small Business Advocates and the city's Department of the Environment, provides free energy surveys focusing on lighting and discounted energy efficiency products and services to the city's small businesses. The California Public Utility Commission has provided $8 million to the city for small business energy efficiency. The program targets small firms that can cut energy cost 30-50 percent, with a positive cash-flow within 18 months.