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EPA Honors Erie County

Release Date: 07/12/2005
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(#05081) NEW YORK -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) presented an award today to Erie County recognizing its long-standing commitment to environmental stewardship. EPA Acting Regional Administrator Kathleen C. Callahan honored Erie County officials onboard "The Lake Guardian," EPA's surveillance and monitoring vessel for the Great Lakes. Erie County's Deputy Commissioner of Environmental Compliance Services Michael Raab and Deputy Commissioner of Disaster Preparedness Dean Messing accepted the award.

"The people who live and work in Erie County benefit from the county's efforts to make the air, water and land cleaner, " said Acting Regional Administrator Kathleen C. Callahan. "Both Deputy Commissioners have demonstrated that the public, private and international sectors can and will work together to forge partnerships, prepare for emergencies and protect human health and the environment."

Erie County has effectively overseen Brownfield redevelopment projects, hazardous waste removals, pollution prevention initiatives, and orchestrated training in lead and asbestos abatement and for emergency workers who respond to environmental catastrophes. The county has worked in partnership with local entities, such as the Friends of the Buffalo and Niagara River Basin and international agencies, in the Cross Border Contingency Plan and International Joint Commission Task Force.

The ceremony took place onboard "The Lake Guardian" during a week when hundreds of EPA Community Involvement Coordinators and other environmental experts are meeting in Buffalo. "The Lake Guardian" is operated by EPA's Great Lakes National Program Office. Its mission is to monitor pollutant concentrations in the water, air, fish, sediments and biological matter of the Great Lakes. Testing also involves the effects of pollutants and other natural and human stresses on the Great Lakes.

More information on Erie County's programs can be found at Exit EPA,, and