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U.S. EPA honors 36 Western Environmental Heroes

Release Date: 4/20/2004
Contact Information: Wendy Chavez, (415)947-4248

SAN FRANCISCO -- During the agency's sixth annual Environmental Awards Ceremony in San Francisco today, U.S. EPA Regional Administrator Wayne Nastri presented awards to 36 Western organizations and individuals in recognition of their efforts to protect and preserve the environment in 2003.

"The EPA is pleased and honored to acknowledge the innovative and far-reaching environmental work achieved by this impressive group of organizations and individuals," Nastri said. "All of this year's winners -- in fact, all of this year's nominees -- have made commendable efforts to protect and preserve our air, water and land."

The EPA Region 9 Environmental Awards program acknowledges commitment and significant contributions to the environment in California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii, the Pacific Islands and tribal lands. Thirty six groups and individuals were selected from over 150 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:

Environmental, Community or Non-profit

Pima Association of Governments Travel Demand Programs

The Pima Association of Governments's Travel Reduction and RideShare programs were critical to Pima County re-attaining Clean Air standards in 2000. Ozone is down to 85 percent and carbon monoxide is down from 60 to 30 percent of the 8-hour standard from 1995 levels. Its Clean Cities Coalition opened the region's first public compressed natural gas and biodiesel stations, and funded incremental costs of 25 compressed natural gas vehicles. Greater Tucson was the fourth metro area nationally qualifying for EPA's Best Workplaces for Commuters. The 2000 Census shows Arizona's RideShare is the top carpooling program. The association received the 2003 Governor's Pride in Arizona Award for pollution prevention. The University of South Florida's Urban Transportation Research Center is developing a model for worldwide programs based on Arizona's success. The Clean Cities, Best Workplaces for Commuters, Vanpool Incentive, Guaranteed RideHome and Governor's Telework Partnership are all yielding great results.

Tracy Robles/Sutter Health Risk Services
Sutter Health System

Sutter Health System was the first health network to enter into a pollution prevention partnership with the California Department of Health Services. Working with the department, Sutter Health trained its hazardous materials coordinators to conduct mercury assessments and develop plans for mercury reduction. Under the leadership of Safety Program Manager Tracy Robles, Sutter Health eliminated 93 percent -- nearly half a ton -- of mercury from its 27 California hospitals. Sutter Health also developed an environmental purchasing policy to ensure that mercury is not brought back into its hospitals in the future. Inspired by its accomplishments, Sutter Health is continuing its pollution prevention program and is now initiating system-wide solid waste reduction efforts.

Natural Resources Defense Council
Los Angeles Regional Office

The Natural Resources Defense Council's new regional headquarters building in Santa Monica has been named the "greenest" building in America by the United States Green Building Council. The 15,000 square foot structure, which contains offices for 36 environmental lawyers and scientists, was carefully designed to incorporate sustainable building materials, such as the bamboo used in its hardwood flooring. In addition, reclaimed water from rain gutters, sinks, and showers is filtered and disinfected, then reused to flush toilets. The building takes utmost advantage of natural light, and includes ample courtyard areas, oversized windows, and rooftop light wells. Photo sensors dim the lights when natural sunlight is bright. As a result, the building consumes one-third the energy of similar structures.

Sustainable Conservation
San Francisco

Sustainable Conservation's innovative, market-based solutions to difficult environmental problems have resulted in numerous landowners and businesses becoming voluntary conservationists. Sustainable Conservation vigorously promoted the adoption of methane digesters on dairy farms, helped establish a state fund for cost-share assistance, and helped gain passage of an assembly bill allowing dairy farm utility meters to run in reverse when methane digesters produce more energy than the farm uses. In partnership with the California State Automobile Association, Sustainable Conservation completed a successful "Switch Out" campaign for auto repair shops, demonstrating safe and proper removal and recycling of mercury switches at repair shops in California, Nevada and Utah. Its Auto Recycling project produced training materials that were distributed to over 600 auto dismantlers, illustrating how to keep pollutants from obsolete vehicles out of stormwater.

Helen Nakano
Malama o Manoa, the Honolulu Board of Water Supply, and Manoa Educators

Helen Nakano, the neighborhood organization Malama o Manoa, the Honolulu Board of Water Supply, and the educators and schoolchildren of the small Manoa community developed a water quality project to teach water conservation to Manoa schoolchildren and residents. With a grant from the Honolulu Board of Water Supply, twelve K-12 schools agreed to integrate water quality and conservation modules into their curricula. Students surveyed neighbors about water quality and conservation knowledge, and 200 volunteers embarked on a community-wide education program. They stenciled "Don't Dump Goes to the Ocean" messages on storm drains, delivered educational brochures to homes, produced an informational video, hosted a watershed model-building contest, and sponsored tours of water recycling and treatment facilities. This was a true example of partnership among community members, an agency increasing its influence through community buy-in and participation, and the innovative and imaginative work of educators.

North East Trees
Los Angeles

North East Trees is a 14-year old design and construction urban forestry non-profit organization that started locally in northeast Los Angeles and broadened to encompass metropolitan Los Angeles County. The group focuses on developing open space and miniparks in under-served communities, watershed planning and design, and environmental education and outreach. The group's capital improvement projects incorporate innovative strategies and concepts including use of native plants, recycled and indigenous building materials and drip irrigation. The group's three capital improvement projects added over 3,200 trees and plants to the Los Angeles' urban forest. In 2003, the group focused its environmental education and outreach on the Arroyo Seco, a subwatershed in the Los Angeles River area. "Watershed University" is a six-session course that provides community residents, local leaders and elected officials important information with over 130 individuals trained as "Watershed Ambassadors."

Margaret Reeves and Steve Orme
Pesticide Action Network of North America
San Francisco

Since 1982 Pesticide Action Network North America has worked with partners worldwide to promote healthier, more effective pest management through research, policy development, education, media and demonstrations of alternatives. The group is being recognized for its recent work on the Online Pesticide Database, a unique one-stop-shop for pesticide information and for the Pesticide Poisoning Diagnostic Tool, a companion database that integrates pesticide poisoning information from the EPA, the U.S. National Toxicology Program and International Chemical Safety Cards. By providing comprehensive pesticide information to the public at no cost, these two Web sites have already proven to be immensely popular, garnering about 90,000 visits a month from medical clinicians and public health officials, state and federal regulatory agencies, agricultural researchers and individual citizens.

Saipan, MP

MOVER, a non-profit group on Saipan, has taken the initiative to clean up stormwater drainages on Saipan's western shores -- the first major cleanup project of its kind covering a total of 25 drainages. In 2003, MOVER also actively participated in cleanup projects organized by the Environmental Interagency Cleanup Operation Team. Waking up early in the morning and without pay, its members eagerly pack trash from tourist sites and illegal dumping sites to help maintain Saipan's environment. MOVER tirelessly contributed to the clean up of an illegal dumping site at the old Saipan airport and removed ten trailers of trash from the site. In late 2003, MOVER sought an environmental grant from oil giant Exxon/Mobil to clean up stormwater drainages along Saipan's western shores. With the $5,000 Exxon/Mobil grant, MOVER began the cleanup of 25 stormwater drainages in January 2004.

The Santa Barbara Car Free Project
Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District
Santa Barbara

The Santa Barbara Car Free project is a unique partnership of agencies, organizations, transportation operators, tourist businesses and industry associations, all working together to promote car-free travel to and around Santa Barbara to reduce air pollution. Led by the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District, the project is a key non-regulatory strategy in the district's 1998 and 2001 clean air plans. The project is establishing a new kind of eco-tourism with an unusual partnership that encourages thousands of visitors and locals to "take a vacation from their cars" and discover the pleasures of car-free travel. In 2003, the project increased Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner ridership, which celebrated its first year ever with two million riders in one year. The project received publicity in more than 75 regional and national publications and Web sites, distributed more than 40,000 car-free maps, received thousands of inquiries, and doubled its 2002 Web site traffic with more than 100,000 hits.

Laura Silvan
Projecto Fronteriza de Educacion de Ambiental
San Diego

Laura Silvan has been the Director of the Border Environmental Education Project in Tijuana, Baja California since 1990. The program is dedicated to developing change-generating processes in environmental practice and policy. She is Mexico's California-Baja California co-chair for the environmental education task force and the San Diego/Tijuana co-chair for the water task force. She also co-chairs the Environmental Education Council for the Californias. Laura coordinates the Encuentro Fronterizo, bringing together differing interests in order to discuss common environmental themes along the border. She also coordinated the Bioregional Environmental Education program, and is serving or has served on many environmental organization boards. Laura recognizes the important differences and needs of Mexico and the United States, and is deeply committed to binational environmental work. She believes that environmental education allows environmentally responsible awareness and behavior, and that by empowering individuals first, collective responsibility follows.

Environmental Education Exchange

The Environmental Education Exchange is a bicultural liaison between conservation and environmental education non-profits across the border. Since 1991, the exchange has developed diverse environmental education materials. Programs include water conservation, recycling and waste reduction, biodiversity, endangered species, land use issues, commercialism and the environment, air quality, Sonoran desert ecology, solar energy, mining and minerals, science literacy, special multicultural/border programs, and more. The organization partners with Tucson Water, the Salt River Project of Phoenix, the EPA, and Columbia University's Biosphere 2 Center. The exchange developed a bilingual database to build partnerships along the border, and has served over 70 environmental education organizations along the U.S./Mexico border. The exchange is recognized regionally as a source of high-quality curricula, interactive materials, and an excellent consultation source on non-profit management in environmental education.
Local, State, Tribal or Federal Government

Jack McGurk
California Department of Health Services

Jack McGurk has driven the California Department of Health Services' Hospital Pollution Prevention program from its beginning. Now in its fourth year, the program has made incredible system-wide changes in numerous California hospitals, and received the prestigious 2002 and 2003 Champion for Change Award by Hospitals for a Healthy Environment. The Sutter Health System has eliminated 90 percent of mercury on a system-wide basis from 27 hospitals. McGurk strongly encouraged the development of a stronger, lighter "bio-elite" medical waste bag made from recycled plastics. UC Davis Medical Center reduced the weight of medical waste by 40,300 pounds in 2002 by using the bags. He played a key role in organizing the Hospital Alliance Association to promote cost-effective and efficient operation of hospital systems resulting in cleaner, safer and healthier facilities. Without McGurk's energy, insight and networking skills this program may never have gotten off the ground.

Robert Baumann & John Smith
California Jobs Through Recycling Project
California Integrated Waste Management Board

The California Jobs Through Recycling Project catalyzed waste reduction and recycling advances through partnerships and grants with state and local government agencies. The results of this innovative project are outstanding examples of how partnerships can promote recycling, job growth and energy recovery. The project helped start nine recycling businesses in Alameda County in the San Francisco Bay Area, creating over 60 local jobs, and diverting over 140,000 tons of waste from landfills annually. The project started the Alameda County Recycling Marketplace, a type of "eco-industrial park," which co-locates businesses that can use each other's unwanted resources. The project developed new markets for difficult-to-recycle materials like tires, mattresses/furniture, construction and demolition debris. The project generated more than $1.7 million in wages annually.

Washoe Tribe of Nevada & California
The Washoe Tribe's Environmental Protection Department, headed by Marie Barry, has worked hard to stabilize and restore a section of the Carson River corridor through Jacks Valley, Douglas County, Nevada. The tribe has bio-engineered bank shaping, vegetation and habitat restoration. Throughout the project, the Washoe Environmental Protection Department held four "Washoe on the River Day" events that attracted 35-40 tribal members, elders, youth, environmental professionals to each gathering. Participants helped in the restoration process while learning about the hydrology and ecology of the Carson River, its importance to the timeless natural environment, and its cultural connection to the Washoe people. The Washoe Tribe's environmental stewardship has touched the lives of hundreds of people, and is an example of what can be done nationwide to protect and restore our rivers and streams.

City of Berkeley
Berkeley is the first city of its size in the country to convert to 100 percent biodiesel for virtually an entire fleet. The city of Berkeley celebrated a milestone on June 24, 2003 at its Biodiesel Vehicle Exhibit, which recognized Berkeley's conversion to 100 percent biodiesel vehicles. Berkeley's fleet includes a variety of 100 percent biodiesel vehicles from the departments of public works, parks, fire, police, and health and human services. Biodiesel is comprised of vegetable oil, usually soybean oil. It has numerous advantages including less than half the emissions produced by petroleum-based diesel. The 100 percent biodiesel fuel is used in over 180 of the city's diesel vehicles representing 90 percent of its fleet of 200 diesel vehicles. As a leader in environmental initiatives, Berkeley has already used other cleaner fuels including all-electric, electric-gas hybrids and compressed natural gas.

American Samoa Power Authority
Solid Waste Division
Pago Pago, AS

The American Samoa Power Authority's Solid Waste Division provides quality, safe, economical and sustainable utility services in partnership with its customers, the community of American Samoa and the Pacific region. The utility continues to introduce to the legislature the Beverage Deposit Bill in hopes of reducing the large volume of material entering the landfill. Without waiting for this bill to pass, the utility launched a program to reduce the landfill growth by purchasing a glass pulverizer, a can densifier and began to collect glass bottles and aluminum cans. Daily advertisements invited the public to bring glass bottles to the power authority and large bins were placed on the island where tons of glass were collected weekly. The glass pulverizer produces glass sand and pebbles for land enhancement, construction projects or decorative purposes. The utility also began an aluminum collection program at the landfill. Together, these efforts extend the life of the existing landfill and moves toward sustainability.

California Conservation Corp
Del Norte Center Watershed Restoration Program
Klamath, CA

Conservation corps members logged more than ten thousand hours on a range of restoration projects to enhance and restore critical habitat for threatened Coho salmon, Chinook salmon and Steelhead trout. Thirteen fish migration barriers were modified to open up over nine miles of shelter; thirty-one log and boulder instream structures were installed to enhance over two miles of spawning and rearing habitat, and ten thousand trees were planted along five miles of impaired riparian corridors. These restoration techniques play an integral role and serve as a national model in the ongoing efforts to restore native fish populations.

Doctors Payne and Meyer
University of California, Davis
Davis, CA

Dr. Michael Payne and Dr. Deanne Meyer have worked tirelessly on a cooperative California Dairy Quality Assurance program that brings together a diverse group of 16 government, university, industry and environmental interests. Dairies are regulated by a complex and overlapping array of federal, state and regional/local requirements that are constantly evolving. The effort seeks to assist California dairy producers in meeting all requirements relating to manure and nutrient management. Drs. Payne and Meyer work with individual dairies to create "environmental stewardship farm management plans," independent on-site evaluation by a third party, and certification of compliance with environmental requirements. Dairies now have a "one stop shop" where they can go to not only find out what they need to do, but to obtain assistance in doing it.

San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board
The San Diego Regional Board, the State of California water pollution control agency for San Diego County and parts of Orange County and Riverside County, have established a strong, comprehensive, and effective regulatory program of stormwater discharges. To ensure effective oversight of industrial and construction stormwater discharges, the Regional Board has established and coordinated a dual state and local regulatory system resulting in shared compliance and enforcement activities. The sharing of regulatory duties has enabled focused attention on specific areas having numerous construction sites and high concentrations of industrial facilities. Coastal water quality has improved with the implementation of the municipal stormwater programs and with the Regional Board's aggressive program to reduce the number and volume of sewage discharges to coastal waters.

Hawaii State Department of Health - Hazardous Waste Section

The Mercury Clean-out project removed sources of mercury from the community and provided education outreach on the hazards of mercury on health and the environment. Over 625 households, 70 schools and several neighbor island dentists participated. The project collected over 1,280 pounds of mercury from schools and over 180 pounds from dentists and community households. Only a year before the project, the Department of Health spent approximately $650,000 to clean up 35 pounds of mercury found in an abandoned building by children who had discovered it and then took 4.4 pounds to their homes and schools. The cost of the Mercury Clean-out Project was approximately $172,000 and collected 1,460 pounds of mercury. The preventive approach of the clean-out cost approximately $118 a pound compared to a reactionary approach of over $18,500 a pound for clean-up.

Lillian Kawasaki
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
Environmental Affairs and Economic Development

2003 was a landmark year for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's Fuel Cell Demonstration Program. The department was devoted to demonstrating operation of new, clean and efficient methods of reliable on-site electric power generation. Not only is the development of fuel cell technology important to help reduce dependence on fossil fuels, clean the air in Los Angeles, and provide reliable on-site power for its customers, but the knowledge and experience gained through these projects can be transferred to applications nationwide. Fuel cells can produce 50 percent more energy per unit of fuel than conventional combustion engines with nearly zero emissions. Carbonate fuel cells, due to their ability to extract hydrogen from natural gas as part of their internal electrochemical process, are over 25 percent more efficient than more conventional phosphoric acid fuel cell plants. Through the fuel cell demonstration program, fuel cell technology is now integrated into the L.A. Department of Water and Power's diverse energy resource strategy.

City of Los Angeles
Environmental Affairs Department

The City of Los Angeles has partnered with Honda Corporation to lease and test a new state-of-the-art, advanced technology vehicle -- the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. The city received five Honda FCXs in the demonstration program to allow Los Angeles City Hall employees to use the vehicles as pool cars. The demonstration allows Honda to evaluate the vehicles under real-world driving conditions and get feedback from customers. Vehicle use and deployment educates the public on alternatives, demonstrates feasibility, and provides valuable feedback on the function and design of the new technology. It also helps accelerate public acceptance of these vehicles. The use of hydrogen as a motor vehicle fuel holds tremendous potential air quality benefits. The hydrogen fuel cell represents one of the most promising clean alternatives for fueling vehicles, as water vapor is the only exhaust.


Susan Porter
St. Paul's Episcopal School

Susan Porter has instilled environmentalism in sixth graders at Oakland's St. Paul's Episcopal School for years. Students learn about Lake Merritt ecology, how pollution happens, and how to prevent it. They don waders to clean up trash in Lake Merritt and neighborhood gutters collecting nearly three tons of garbage annually. In 2003, students tested water quality, learned hydrology by visiting the upper watershed, and rescued freshwater turtles mistakenly released into Lake Merritt's brackish water. Students interviewed lake visitors and businesses, asking if they knew the difference between storm drains and sanitary sewers and explained them. A former student said, "It's fun to pick up all that trash! She's really enthusiastic about it! She likes to get her hands dirty." Susan Porter has created environmental stewards for life and taught them that they can make a difference in their world.

Dr. Ellen Hardebeck
Great Basin Air Pollution Control District

Bishop, CA
Dr. Ellen Hardebeck has been the Air Pollution Control Officer at the Great Basin Air Pollution Control District in Eastern California for the past 19 years and will be retiring this summer. She oversaw the research, development and implementation of a plan to solve the dust problem at Owens Lake-- the highest and largest single source of PM-10 air pollution in the country-- emitting an average of over 80,000 tons of PM-10 annually. Dr. Hardebeck directed large-scale tests resulting in adoption of control measures that mimic, but greatly accelerate, natural processes that control dust in the desert. Dr. Hardebeck and her staff also developed a pioneering method that allows PM-10 control measures to be placed only where they are needed to meet the standard. These efforts led to the adoption of a PM-10 air quality plan in November 2003. It is through Dr. Hardebeck's tireless efforts to solve the dust problem at Owens Lake that such innovative programs have been developed and are being implemented.

Bryan Condy
Scotts Valley High School Recycling
Scotts Valley, CA

As a freshman at Scotts Valley High School, Bryan Condy noticed the lack of recycling bins on campus. In response, Bryan started a project to recycle bottles and cans to reduce waste on campus. Bryan gained support from students, teachers, city officials and private environmental groups. He requested and received $500 from the Do Something Foundation, the Ecology Action agreed to buy three recycling bins and the Parent Club agreed to buy a fourth. The first week of Bryan's project, 40 bottles were tossed in, worth $1 in California. In one year the project kept 17,318 bottles and cans out of the dump and raised $430 for classroom supplies. Bryan's project has created a "waste not, want not" mentality on campus, and it has changed student behavior and improved the environment.

Henry Gong, Jr., M.D.
Env. Health Serv., Rancho Los Amigos Hospital
Downey, CA

Dr. Henry Gong is a practicing lung physician and Professor of Medicine and Preventive Medicine at the University of Southern California. He has written over 250 documents and books on respiratory-related and air pollution topics, including health effects from ozone and particulate matter, and has reviewed over 20 clinical and environmental journals. As Chief of Environmental Health Service, his extensive clinical research accomplishments provide a foundation for consulting with various groups including the U.S. EPA on its health research program and asthma strategy. He integrates his clinical and research skills into educating others about the health effects of air pollution, especially fellow medical professionals who generally receive very little training on air pollution's effects. Dr. Gong's efforts in pollution-related health effects have been recognized by the American Lung Association of California and the Coalition For Clean Air.

Tom Lent
Healthy Building Network

Working with a variety of interests in the building industry, Tom Lent has spent his lifetime working to improve the health and well-being of the community and the planet. He contributed to the information campaign to ban arsenic-treated wood, has been a national player in the efforts to educate and inform a wide audience about the environmental and health hazards of PVC, built the best "alternatives to PVC products" database for a wide range of products, and is a major player in the development of green building guidelines for hospitals. He has contributed to a better understanding of the complex issues of materials testing and evaluation by his thorough analysis of methodology and life cycle assessment systems, and worked with the building industry to transform the marketplace.

Stephanie Lefevre
Winnemucca, NV

Stephanie Lefevre created environmental programs in rural Winnemucca, Nev. She started a volunteer community recycling program staffed by the disabled and opened the first drop-off center. She petitioned the city to donate 2 acres for a community garden and composting program. Volunteers cleaned the parcel, and installed fencing and an irrigation system. Eighteen classrooms and six organizations adopted gardens and they will soon compost cafeteria food waste along with yard waste. As director of the Nevada Outdoor School, she developed an environmental education plan for students focusing on local property with a historic problem of illegal dumping. Called the "Water Canyon Interpretive Trail," once completed, 1,200 children a year will benefit from this outdoor classroom. The trail is the first ADA-accessible in the county providing access to Thomas Creek. She has truly become a Nevada environmental hero.

Kelly Moran
San Mateo, CA

Kelly Moran's contributions have advanced pollution prevention. As a Sierra Club representative, Moran led a diverse coalition to pass SB1916, which provided significant funding to the Department of Toxic Substances and Control's Pollution Prevention program, and launched several successful projects--one which prevented 2 million gallons of contaminated wash water from being sent to storm drains or wastewater treatment plants. As manager of the Pollution Prevention program at the Palo Alto Regional Water Quality Control plant, Moran implemented more than 25 pollution prevention projects that reduced water pollution from more than 100 major industries, 1,000 commercial businesses, and 80,000 residences. She reduced levels of five key metals in the plant's wastewater by 40 to 90 percent and eliminated compliance problems with arsenic, lead, nickel, selenium, silver and tributyltin. She provided groundbreaking technical support for the Bay Area Dioxins Project, and helped local governments launch more than 15 projects to reduce dioxin emissions.

Liliana Guzman
San Diego High School
Diesel, Air Pollution and Asthma in Barrio Logan

As a junior at San Diego High School, Liliana has become an asset to her community and to the local community group Environmental Health Coalition, by taking a leading role in educating, organizing and advocating for environmental health and justice in her community. The proximity of residences to industry in Barrio Logan creates a number of environmental health hazards, particularly stemming from air pollution. Liliana was instrumental in getting authorities to prevent diesel trucks from idling near schools and homes in her community. She is now helping update Barrio Logan's Community Plan to address current mixed land use zoning that allows heavy industries to be right next to homes and schools. The community of Barrio Logan is truly fortunate to have Liliana working to achieve environmental protection and justice.

Business, Industry or Professional Organization

Mohammad Nilchian, Carroll Company
Zero-Emission Glass Cleaner for the Economy and the Environment
Santa Fe Springs, CA

In 2003, Mohammad Nilchian of the Carroll Company formulated a Zero-Emission Glass and All-Purpose Cleaner, which has no volatile organic compounds or hazardous air pollutants. The elimination of these pollutants is a real asset to the economy, the environment and the workplace. The VOC emissions contribute to smog, and hazardous air pollutants increase hazards to workers and homeowners. The product has no flash point, and is not combustible. The active ingredient is a natural surfactant, alkyl poly-glycoside, which is made from coconut oil and potato starch. The glass cleaner is also biodegradable, and the active ingredient is derived from renewable agricultural feedstock. The switch to zero emission products garners long-term environmental benefits for smog, runoff, indoor air quality and conservation of energy resources.

Blue & Gold Fleet
Green Waves Team
San Francisco

In 2003, the Blue & Gold Fleet received seven nationally recognized environmental awards for its innovative leadership and its exemplary pollution prevention efforts. Blue & Gold Fleet recycles more than 100,000 pounds of cardboard, 32,000 pounds of paper, and 5,000 gallons of oil each year. The company also recycles batteries, light tubes, wood, plastic, glass, rubber and electronic equipment. Blue & Gold significantly reduced its two largest waste streams -- the production of marine vessel bilge was reduced 45 percent and NOX emissions were reduced by 145 tons. The company reduced annual diesel fuel consumption by 100,000 gallons. And as a research and development initiative, Blue & Gold designed and installed selective catalytic reduction systems on two vessels, which will reduce emissions below the 2007 EPA Tier 2 marine diesel exhaust emission limits. Blue & Gold is leading the way in pollution prevention and environmental stewardship.

Gary Fredkin
Clean Source
San Jose

Clean Source, a San Jose-based hospital supply company, has greatly aided the cause of pollution prevention in California hospitals by recycling blue wrap, a sterilization wrap universally used in hospitals to wrap surgical instruments and equipment. The California Department of Health Services Hospital Pollution Prevention program learned that blue wrap could be recycled at an Oakland firm and then sent to Washington to be combined with wood scraps to make siding for houses. However, transportation from the hospital was a problem until Clean Source President and CEO Gary Fredkin volunteered to backhaul the blue wrap from the hospitals to his warehouse to be picked up by the recycler. Over 30 hospitals participate in the project. In 2003, Clean Source collected 30.7 tons of blue wrap for recycling, and accounted for approximately 84 percent of the blue wrap recycled from California hospitals. Clean Source continues to help hospitals recycle blue wrap and increase the number of hospital participants.

State of California Auto Dismantlers Association

Over one million vehicles come to the end of their useful lives in California each year. Based on sheer volume, if these vehicles are handled improperly, significant damage to surface water, groundwater, soil, and air quality can result. The State of California Auto Dismantlers Association created the Partners in the Solution program to ensure that member businesses adhere to strong environmental, safety, business and licensing standards. This innovative program raises the bar for the auto recycling industry, while providing the education and support needed to bring facilities into compliance with the program's standards. Almost 200 auto recycling facilities currently participate in the program. The State of California Auto Dismantlers Association is committed to improved environmental stewardship by its members and determined to educate key stakeholders and citizens about the mounting challenges associated with polluted runoff from end-of-life vehicles in California.

Annie Chun's Inc.
San Rafael, CA

Last year Annie Chun's All Natural Asian Cuisine became the first U.S. company to introduce a biodegradable/compostable bowl. While these "earth friendly bowls" are more expensive than plastic, they meet the company's and customer's social and environmental goals. Containers and packaging make up a major portion of the solid waste stream, amounting to 73.5 million tons of generation or 32 percent of total generation nationwide. Disposable plastic plates, bowls, and cups went from no production in 1960 to more than 800,000 tons/year today. The company's theme with the bowl, "Saving the Earth One Bowl at a Time," relates to both environmental conservation along with an interest to support school feeding programs in impoverished countries. The bowl is made from 95 percent corn starch with small amounts of talc and ethylene vinyl acetate.

Marla Cone
Los Angeles Times

Throughout 2003, Marla Cone wrote a series of informative articles on the growing environmental problem posed by brominated flame retardants, explaining the health, scientific issues, benefits and risks, in clear terms for the public. PBDEs are used widely in consumer products such as furniture, consumer electronics, mattresses and textiles, providing a benefit by slowing down the spread of fire. However, there is growing evidence that the flame retardants bioaccumulate and persist in the environment. The flame retardant issue, like many environmental challenges, does not address a notable public event nor a simple immediate crisis. Nonetheless, Marla Cone understood the importance of growing risk that wasn't immediately dramatic. Her coverage raised public awareness and may have been a factor in the California Legislature's recent gradual phaseout of two of the brominated flame retardants.

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