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EPA awards the City of Medford, Mass. With Environmental Awards

Release Date: 04/27/2005
Contact Information:

Contact: Sheryl Rosner, EPA Office of Public Affairs, (617) 918-1865,

For Immediate Release: April 27, 2005; Release # sr050403

BOSTON - At a ceremony to kick off Medford's annual Energy Efficiency Fair, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency presented Medford Mayor Michael J. McGlynn with two prestigious environmental awards today. The City was awarded an ENERGY STARŪ Label for superior energy performance for the Medford City Hall, where the ceremony took place, and a Clean Air Excellence Award for Medford’s comprehensive efforts to implement innovative clean energy and transportation policies.

"Medford is proud to accept this Energy Star Label for City Hall and the Clean Air Excellence Award," Mayor McGlynn said. "Energy efficiency and clean energy policies are becoming cornerstones in the management of our City's resources - the more the City embraces these values, the more we all see the great environmental and financial benefits that come from these efforts."

Medford City Hall, the first City or Town Hall building in Massachusetts to earn the ENERGY STAR Label, uses 28 percent less energy than the average office building of its size. Due to its energy efficiency, more than 2.1 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions are prevented from entering our air each year - the equivalent of taking more than 200 cars off the road. The efficiencies also save Medford taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars in annual energy bills.

The ENERGY STAR label is awarded to buildings that demonstrate superior energy performance. The ENERGY STAR national performance rating system ranks building energy performance on a one to 100 scale based on energy usage per square foot, normalized for weather, climate, occupancy and other factors. Buildings scoring 75 or higher that meet standards for indoor air quality, lighting, ventilation and thermal comfort are eligible for the label.

Medford City Hall shows how even older buildings can achieve high energy efficiency with the right combination of technology and good management. Completed in 1937, Medford City Hall received several important upgrades over the past few years, including: new lighting and controls, installation of solar panels for electricity, conversion from oil to natural gas heating, and water conserving plumbing fixtures.

The upgrades and improvements at Medford City Hall are just one part of a comprehensive, multi-year effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from buildings and transportation sources across the City's operations. This innovative policy initiative earned Medford its EPA Clean Air Excellence Award, also presented today.

"The City of Medford has redefined what it means to be an environmental ambassador and is truly deserving of a Clean Air Excellence Award," said Ira Leighton, Deputy Regional Administrator of EPA's New England Office. "Through its clean energy and clean transportation policies, this small city has become a national leader. It is my hope that other communities will follow in the footsteps of Medford."

Given its proximity to Boston and major highways, ground level ozone, fine particles, and air toxics are serious concerns for Medford. Both EPA and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts have identified several neighborhoods in Medford as potential environmental justice areas.

In October 2001, Medford became the first city in Massachusetts to have an approved Municipal Climate Action Plan. The city developed this groundbreaking plan by working cooperatively with representatives from private industry, state and federal agencies, area institutions, as well as Medford residents.

The city has made great strides in implementing several of the plan's challenging recommendations, including: significantly increasing the energy efficiency of its municipal buildings; integrating Biodiesel (B20) and electric cars into its fleet; converting traffic signals to Energy Star light emitting diodes (LEDs); and installing photovoltaic panels at City Hall and Hormel Stadium.

Recently, the City retrofitted its school buses with diesel particulate filters and converted to ultra low sulfur diesel to achieve up to a 90% reduction in criteria air pollutants. The City recently kicked off a campaign, Medford Leads with Clean Energy, with the goal of encouraging residents and local businesses to support clean energy. These efficiency and clean energy improvements are serving the dual purpose of reducing air pollution while saving the city more than $60,000 annually in energy costs.

The EPA introduced ENERGY STAR in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce air pollution through increased energy efficiency. The program helps businesses and consumers save energy and money while protecting the environment for future generations. In 2004, ENERGY STAR helped Americans save enough energy to power 24 million homes and reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 21 million cars - all while saving consumers and businesses $10 billion.

To learn about ENERGY STAR visit:, or to find out about EPA’s Clean Air Excellence Award visit: