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Connecticut Tribe Recognized as Clean Air Excellence Award Winner

Release Date: 04/12/2005
Contact Information:

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

For Immediate Release: April 12, 2005; Release # dd050401

BOSTON - A Connecticut Indian tribe was one of 12 organizations or individuals nationwide honored by the US Environmental Protection Agency for efforts in working to make the air cleaner.
The Mohegan Environmental Protection Department was recognized for its Mohegan Integrated Emission Reductions program during the fifth annual Clean Air Excellence Awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. last week.

“The Mohegan program used an innovative approach to help make our nation’s air cleaner,” said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. "By winning a Clean Air Excellence Award, the Mohegan program shows how one organization can make a difference."

“Both natural ecosystems and industrial facilities share similar chemical processes, including energy and materials flow," said Dr. Norman Richards, Mohegan's environmental protection director. "It has been possible to dramatically reduce this facility's air emissions by studying and understanding those processes."

The Mohegan Environmental Protection Department collaborated with the Mohegan Sun Resort and Casino to develop an environmental policy that reduces pollution and increases energy efficiency. The program addresses building energy, transportation and materials management in a holistic approach.

Building energy systems use co-generation, fuel cells, electrolytic hydrogen generators, solar panels and a ground-source heat pump HVAC. The unique stationary source emissions tracking, maintenance, permitting, and enforcement system insures conservation and efficiency of stationary sources. Emissions from visitors’ vehicles are offset in a variety of ways, including: replacing security vehicles with gas-electric hybrid automobiles and bicycles; encouraging employee carpooling; and helping to finance a school bus retrofit program in nearby Norwich.

Waste management is guided by a pollution prevention policy that eliminates emissions from the combustion of solid waste. The policy promotes recycling, low VOC paints, green purchasing and infrared scanning of buildings to detect and reduce heat loss. Energy use is also reduced with vending machines that have motion-detectors, infrared system that detects occupancy in hotel rooms for HVAC control and a standard operating procedure for reducing emissions on ozone non-attainment days.

The Mohegan program won in the regulatory/policy category.

The Clean Air Excellence Awards program, sponsored by EPA, recognizes and honors outstanding, innovative efforts to make progress in achieving cleaner air. The program was established in 2000 at the recommendation of the Clean Air Act Advisory Committee, a senior-level policy committee that advises EPA on issues related to implementing the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990.

More information about the Clean Air Excellence Awards is available at: