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Two Individuals & Three Groups From New Hampshire Receive Environmental Awards

Release Date: 05/17/2005
Contact Information:

Contact: David Deegan, EPA Office of Public Affairs, (617) 918-1017,

For Immediate Release: May 17, 2005; Release #dd050518

(Boston - May 17, 2005) Two Granite Staters and three New Hampshire groups were honored today in Boston’s Faneuil Hall as EPA presented the 2005 Environmental Merit Awards. Recognizing significant contributions to environmental awareness and problem solving, the New Hampshire awardees included two for business, industry and professional organizations, one for efforts by local, state or federal government and two lifetime achievement awards.

The merit awards, given out since 1970, honor individuals and groups who have shown particular ingenuity and commitment in their efforts to preserve the region's environment. This year's competition drew approximately 70 nominations from across New England.

“These awards are among the highest honors EPA can bestow to recognize environmental accomplishments,” said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator for EPA’s New England Office. “The work of these individuals, organizations and businesses reflect the best attributes of New Englanders, working to find solutions to environmental issues. I offer my gratitude for their extraordinary contributions in protecting the environment.”

The winners from New Hampshire were among 38 from across New England. Awards were given in the categories of individual; business (including professional organizations); local, state or federal government; and environmental, community, academia or nonprofit organization. Also, each year EPA may present lifetime achievement awards for individuals.

Environmental Merit Award Winners from New Hampshire are:
Lifetime Achievement Environmental Merit Award:
Fran Coffin (Posthumous)

Selectman, volunteer firefighter, business leader and strong environmental advocate, Fran Coffin was killed in an automobile accident January 30, 2004, at the age of 54. His efforts to further a sustainable economy in northern New Hampshire grew out of concern about the region's economic sustainability when it became clear paper mill closings would hurt the area’s economy. At the same time, it was unclear how such closures might affect surrounding forests. Residents hoped sustainable forestry practices would continue and recreational access to lands would be preserved. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was working at the time to conserve wildlife habitat by establishing the Lake Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge in the area. Fran valued local control and realized citizens could partner with the refuge. He became a strong voice for the Lake Umbagog Refuge, joining the Refuge Task Force and organizing local businesses into the Umbagog Area Chamber of Commerce. Due in large part to Fran's efforts, $2 million in Forest Legacy funds were made available to buy timber company holdings adjacent to the Androscoggin River called the Thirteen-Mile Woods. Fran’s effective advocacy for economic sustainability has helped New Hampshire retain many of its unspoiled natural treasures.

Lifetime Achievement Environmental Merit Award:
Terrence Frost

Terrence Frost has dedicated his life to environmental conservation. Terry began at age 13 with trail work in Sandwich, New Hampshire and writing articles for "Open Road for Boys" magazine. He graduated in 1942 from the University of New Hampshire with a degree in Zoology, then later received a Master’s Degree in Zoology from UNH. In the 60's and 70's, Terry led hikes for the Appalachian Mountain Club and became president of the Chatham Trails Association. He organized and led trail maintenance events in the White Mountain National Forest for over a decade with much success. Terry also became a member of many grass roots environmental organizations. He is still a member of many of organizations he joined 40 years ago. Terry retired in 1982 from his career in natural resources but continued to lecture in water resources at New England College. Since 1986, Terry has been the emphatic trail development and work party leader for the Concord Conservation Commission's "Concord Trails System." Terry is one of the handful of individuals that has given us New Hampshire as it is today.

Local, State or Federal Governmental Environmental Merit Award:
New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services Quality Assurance Team:
Vincent Perelli, Robert Minicucci, Rachel Rainey, William Hall, Andrew Chapman, Thomas Croteau, Vicki Whittemore, Kendall Perkins, Sharon Perkins, Wendy Bonner

Vincent Perelli, Robert Minicucci, and the NH Department of Environmental Services Quality Assurance Team successfully developed and put in place a quality data system that is a model for state agencies across New England. The team showed outstanding leadership in promoting systematic collection and use of quality data for NH environmental programs. Vincent Perelli, QA Manager, and Robert Minicucci, Assistant QA Manager, identified a need for a system that ensured all environmental data collected and used would be scientifically defensible and would be sufficient to support the work of programs. Under Vince and Bob's strong leadership and technical guidance, QA Team members have developed and put in place policies, processes and procedures within their individual programs. The team wove these outputs into a well defined quality system. By systematizing project planning and standardizing technical processes, the QA Team has realized measurable efficiencies in conducting environmental projects while promoting good science. The QA Team streamlined the process for documenting QA project plans and ensuring data quality by using model formats and standard operating procedures. By instituting a centralized, internal QA plan review and approval process, environmental projects are more likely to meet objectives and EPA plan approvals are streamlined. The "plan-do-check-adapt" system has now spread to all levels of the organization. The QA Team has established a solid framework of quality within the organization which the NH DES Senior Leadership Team reinforces through regular communications to the staff.

Business, Industry and Professional Organizations Environmental Merit Award:
Millipore Corporation

Jaffrey, New Hampshire

Millipore’s successful water conservation programs deserve recognition. The company manufactures filtration devices. High purity water is required to test or rinse 90 percent of the products manufactured in Jaffrey. Reduction of water usage by reducing the percentage of products that require purified water was not an option. Reusing or recycling the water were the only options to reduce the number of gallons drawn from and then released to the environment. Ongoing water conservation efforts over the last two years at the facility have resulted in the conservation of almost 800,000 gallons of water per month (or 27,000 gallons per day). Millipore has significantly reduced its water use by retrofitting its reverse osmosis water treatment system and by re-routing rejected water from the treatment system to toilet facilities used by some 380 employees. Millipore's efforts to conserve water have not only alleviated stresses on the local aquifer, but it also resulted\ in a reduction in chemical use, wastewater disposal, and energy consumption. Millipore's ingenuity is worthy of the Environmental Merit Award.

Business, Industry and Professional Organizations Environmental Merit Award:
The New Hampshire Lakes Association

The New Hampshire Lakes Association is dedicated to preventing expansion by exotic aquatic plant species in the state's 900 or more lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams. In New Hampshire, 64 surface water bodies are already infested with exotic aquatic plants. These invaders were first introduced by attaching to, and then detaching from, boats and trailers in the 1960's. They have spread to other water bodies by recreational boaters. The NH Lakes Association has used education and legislative advocacy to tackle the problem. The association received federal funds in 2002 to establish a pilot program to staff public access sites with volunteers and paid inspectors to ensure boats were free of attached exotic species plants. The association has since sought annual funding to expand the program. Over the past three years, this Lake Hosts program has"saved" 27 water bodies from inadvertent invasions by these exotic aquatic plants. The association has grown into an invaluable extension of the state Exotic Species Program and has produced measurable results in slowing (or preventing) the spread of exotic aquatic species.

Related Information:
Environmental Merit

2005 Recipients