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Coatesville’s Charlie Root Receives National Award

Release Date: 06/22/2006
Contact Information: David Sternberg, (215) 814-5548

PHILADELPHIA - Charlie Root of East Fallowfield Township today was awarded the National Remedial Project Manager Award for excellence in community involvement from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Root received the award at the National Association of Remedial Project Managers conference in New Orleans, La., for his work with the community at the Palmerton Zinc Superfund site in Palmerton, Pa.

The Palmerton Zinc site is located in the area of a former zinc smelting operation. Prior to Root’s involvement, the site had been one of EPA’s most contentious. The cleanup plan required sampling of 1,700 properties. Of these 220 homeowners needed to have their yards excavated, and 30 required interior cleaning to protect them from lead contamination.

“We made the effort to actually be involved in the community, to be there often and meet with people in a less structured, more flexible setting. In addition to the regularly required public meetings, we had lots of meetings with local groups to help them understand the process,” said Root.

EPA and the main private party responsible for the cleanup set up a joint field office in the community where people could go and get information about the site and the cleanup operation. Phones were staffed on a regular basis. In addition, the responsible party produced a video showing residents what to expect.

“Having this kind of presence showed that EPA was concerned, and helped to build goodwill in the community. Once the cleanup plan was determined and the time frame was met, people began to see light at the end of the tunnel, ” Root said.

Root, 39, is a graduate of Coatesville High School. He received a bachelor of science degree from Millersville University where he had a co-op assignment to EPA during his junior year.

He has worked at EPA for 16 years, the last 12 as a Remedial Project Manager overseeing Superfund site cleanups, including the AIW Frank site in Exton, the Malvern TCE site and the Old Wilmington Road site in West Caln Township. Charlie has two children, a daughter Kristen, 16, and a son John,12. His wife Barbara also works at EPA.

He served as president of the EPA employees association from 2002 to 2005 promoting morale and social activities for the agencies workers and remains a board member. He is also the coordinator of the EPA social softball league.

Charlie currently spends his free time coaching his son’s little league team. In addition, he serves as treasurer of the Wellington Hunt Homeowners Association.